Mindfulness is the New Prozac

If instant stress relief and relaxation came in bottles, we moms would probably be making a beeline at the nearest pharmacy to grab one. With the harried lives we live, we wouldn’t think twice about grabbing every easy opportunity to wash away stress and worry from our weary minds and bodies. In between fixing the family dinner and doing mountains of laundry, we’d give an arm just to have some time to relax. Sure, there’s yoga and morning jogs around the block to help give us an endorphin rush, but there is another way to help uplift your spirits: mindfulness.

Mindfulness is defined as a state of paying attention to the present. It’s being mindful of the here and now, keenly observing your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without passing judgment as to whether they’re good or bad. You become increasingly aware of what’s happening, so you end up appreciating the experience all the more.

A mindfulness exercise can be as simple as deep breathing. Instead of breathing from your chest, breathe from your belly. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. It calms you when you focus on the sound and rhythm of your breath. This practice anchors your thoughts to the present moment, keeping it from floating away into “worry-land”.

Another exercise is totally focusing on the task at hand: whether it’s vacuuming the living room floor or folding laundry. Immerse yourself in the moment. Feel the vibrations of the vacuum cleaner as you move it across the floor, revel in the soapy water caressing your hands as you do the filthy dishes. For you to enjoy what you’re doing, first condition your mind into thinking that it’s not a chore, but an exercise in mindfulness. You will then be more receptive to its positive results. Listen to some slow-tempo music as you do this- it works!

Observing your thoughts is also an effective mindfulness exercise. This means to not involve yourself in the barrage of thoughts invading your head. Try to sit back and imagine yourself “observing” your thoughts as they pass you by. As you do this, you may notice that your mind will begin to simmer down and the thoughts may appear less stressful.

What’s nice about mindfulness is you can use it anytime you feel the need to, and it gives lasting results. It brings you overall emotional and mental health. Eventually, this well-being translates into your relationships. You are more able to manage your stress and deal with the people around you. So start practicing mindfulness. It’s free, and you can get it without a prescription. Works like pixie dust everytime!

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

Catch me on G+.

Comments

  1. your so right sis and since I do all the disciplining and all the stuff being a single Mom with heart failures is totally not an easy job for me..but time management has always helped me to pull through..dividing my tasks having it scheduled so I won’t have heavy workloads in one day..enjoying what your doing really helps and sometimes doing it with my kids..all of us have a role inside our house..since it is only me and my two kids..I teach them to help even on the smallest possible way they can ;)..

    nice post Peps..you always give us nice ideas..you made me always say I am proud to be a single mom *blink*

  2. Oh, this is a good post. I attended a course about Chan meditation once about mindfulness, and sure during exercises I felt relaxed in mind and body. However, I didn’t practice it for a long time and this post once again reminded me of such benefits and to find time to relax my thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I started doing that breathing exercise and almost fell asleep! ;-)

  4. I have to try this mindfulness thing…

  5. Kristy @PampersandPinot says

    I totally believe in the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. I must get back to committing myself to even just a few minutes a day of practicing this!!

  6. Good post, I certainly try. Margaritas work like Pixie dust too:-)

    • Haha! You simply crack me up, Cari! You are flawlessly funny! That’s a good idea for a follow up post: “Margaritas and Mindfulness” :)

      Good to have you back. Hope your little one had a happy birthday :)

  7. What an inspirational post! I need to try this for sure while I am doing the mundane chores!

  8. Simply think that if you don’t know about Yoga and on the other hand I know a little bit about yoga than I can simply show you what little I know. We will do this by sharing our knowledge and if simple that if you know more about yoga than you are also a yoga teacher. When we give training for Yoga Teachers at our place than it’s totally with complete focus on you without any type of disturbance and daily distractions. If you are deeply interested in yoga than this is a great way to learn how to become a Yoga teacher.

  9. Arthur Taper says

    This is a sensible post and is applicable to non-mothers as well. LOL. I once told a friend that we sometimes worry too much of our obligations that we miss the “moments” we encounter everyday. With all the responsibilities we have with family and work, it is easy to overlook simple things that could help us lighten our routine. And you explained clearly how to savor “now” while completing everyday tasks.

    • Being absorbed in the moment is really difficult, given the myriad of things we must worry about. Thanks for the visit :)

  10. Meditation is great way to relax yourself and be calm after from stressful day or before from doing something you have to energize.Thanks for sharing this article.

  11. Mindfulness – I like this concept and as you say, goes hand in hand with yoga quite nicely. Thanks for posting this.

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