Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

Managing Stress Through Mindfulness


By: Jenna Tziatis, Marketing Specialist, McMaster University Continuing Education

In times of uncertainty and upset, the practice of mindfulness can be a stabilizing force. Mindfulness is the art and practice of being aware in the “here and now”. A lack of present awareness can negatively affect our mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

The practice of mindfulness is correlated with a whole host of scientifically proven benefits, from stress reduction to overall improved life satisfaction. Now more than ever, society needs to develop their mindful self and practice meditation and mindfulness as we navigate unusual circumstances and life-changing events.

To get started on your journey of developing your mindful self, use these quick tips on how to practice mindfulness to help reduce stress during challenging times and in everyday life.

Embrace the Attitudinal Foundation of Mindfulness Practice

Below are the 7 attitudinal foundations of mindfulness:

  1. Non-judging: Recognize which thoughts you have that are judgemental thinking and remind yourself that you must suspend judgement and simply watch without pursuing or acting on your thoughts.
  2. Patience: Practice patience and being completely open to each moment, accepting it as it is and knowing things can change over time.
  3. Beginners Mind: Alter your mind to be able to see everything as if for the first time.
  4. Trust: Develop a basic trust in yourself and your feelings. The more you cultivate this trust, the easier it will be to trust other people and see the good in others.
  5. Non-striving: Don’t strive to be anything but yourself. Develop a new way of seeing yourself, one in which you are trying less and being more.
  6. Acceptance: Practice seeing things as they actually are in the present. Aim to come to terms with things as they are.
  7. Letting Go: Let things be and accept things as they are. In doing so, we let our thoughts go. Let thoughts of the past or future go, and just watch in awareness.

Mindful Breathing

Focusing on your breath can have profound effects on the mind and body, and it’s as simple as it sounds! Find a nice quiet spot to sit or lay down, and spend a few minutes focusing your awareness on the movement of your thoughts and breath. The key is to try and not change your breath or thoughts in any way. Simply accept them for how they are.

Body Scan

Focusing on your body is just as simple as focusing on your breathing! Again, find a quiet spot to sit or lay down and focus your attention on one body part at a time. Start at the soles of your feet and move your attention up your body, noticing sensations within each body part without altering them in any way.

Mindfulness is an important practice not only for your own well-being but for the well-being of society as well. You can learn more about mindfulness through various programs, studios, and continuing education. Start with the basics mentioned above and think about investing in your well-being with programs such as Mindfulness in Modern Society. Reconnect with yourself, reduce stress and tap into your mindful self today!


Managing Stress Through Mindfulness