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Stress

Six 5-minute tricks for less stress

Being aware of your body, mind and feelings in the present moment – that’s what mindfulness is all about. But what does this mean in concrete terms? Read on to find out.

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Marlies Seifert
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“We spend a lot of time thinking about all the things we still need to do. That’s just a waste of energy!”, says Lioba Schneemann with conviction. She teaches MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) at the Migros Club School in Olten, among other places.

“Mindfulness is a skill that we all possess. But we need to train it like a muscle”, says Schneemann. By performing these exercises, you too can live more in the here and now – and bring some calm to your everyday life. It’s important to remember that new habits can only become ingrained if you repeat them – so pick one exercise and do it every day for a week. And if you want to know more about mindfulness, you can find detailed information here.

Be mindful when showering

Do you go through your to-do list for the day while showering in the morning? Try a different approach – feel the water splashing down on you, smell the scent of the shower gel and look at the foam forming on your skin. “This teaches me to focus on physical sensations instead of going on a mental merry-go-round”, explains Schneemann.

Listen consciously

Of course, the most enjoyable way to do this is on a walk in the forest – but you can also listen attentively at home on the sofa. Imagine you are an antenna receiving sounds. Be they loud, quiet, short or long – they are simply there. And you register them without judging them.

“This is also a great thing to do if a noise is disturbing you”, says Schneemann. “If you stick to pure listening, even disturbing noise is just a sound”.

Take a break

Just take a breather – when was the last time you did that? We’re so busy completing and ticking off all our jobs – after finishing one thing, we move straight on to the next.

“I recommend consciously breathing in and out for a minute between two activities, as this calms the nervous system”, says the expert. Breathe normally and feel how your chest rises and falls. Set a timer so you don’t have to think about how much longer the minute will last.

Feel your feet

Be it queuing at Migros or waiting for the bus – as soon as our minds are not occupied, we reach for our mobile phones. How about just focussing on your feet instead?

Can you feel the ground beneath your feet? And how does your heel feel when you take a step forward? Be fascinated by something as mundane as standing or walking!

Be mindful when eating

Yes, you read that right – chewing is good for combatting stress! Bite into an apple, notice the crunch, and chew slowly and consciously. You can also enjoy a cup of tea in total peace and focus on your sensory perceptions. Can you feel the warm cup in your hands? The tangy scent in your nose? Yep, exactly! A few minutes have already passed – and you haven’t even thought about your to-do list. This saves your energy.

Stick to one thing

Doing the dishes without listening to the radio? Drinking your morning coffee without reading the newspaper? You might think it sounds boring. But give it a try!

“Normally unwelcome chores like vacuuming and cleaning can bring unexpected joy if we do them consciously”, says MBSR teacher Lioba Schneemann. So get cracking with that next pile of laundry!

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