First at Four: Tips on how to de-stress

First at Four: Tips on how to de-stress

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - After the election and with the holidays coming up it is normal to be feeling a little stressed.

Counselor Jen Johnson joined First at Four to explain how a meditation technique called mindfulness can help reduce the stress.

The practice is called Awareness of Breathing Meditation. Rest your attention on your breath and when you notice that your mind has wandered, bring the attention back to the breath.

Take in the good and notice what is good and right in your life and in the world. Do what brings you joy and for every moment that you spend feeling angry, sad or scared, spend and equal amount of time  cultivating joy.

Go for a walk in your yard,a local park, the beach  or in the woods and listen to the birds. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and the wind on your face.

Allow yourself to feel your feelings. It's ok to feel sad, confused, afraid, angry or whatever you are feeling. Write about your feelings in a journal. Connect with people who are kind, compassionate and inclusive and talk about your feelings.

If you feel hopeless be sure to reach out and ask for help. If you need professional help, reach out for support. If you're having suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Cultivate compassion for people who are different from you and become an ally to someone in the LGBTQ, African-American, Muslim, Mexican, or Jewish communities. Speak out against any harassment or intimidation of any kind.

A lot of anger and hate is being expressed out there and if it's directed towards you, take a deep breath and walk away.

Choose to not engage and find a healthy outlet for your anger, like talking with a trusted friend or therapists,

Chanel your stress into constructive action and join local,state and national organizations that encourage compassion and inclusiveness.

Become intimately familiar with your values, passions, and purpose, and design your life around them. Create clear intentions for the life that you want, continually put effort toward your intentions, and maintain optimism about living your intentions. Decrease the amount of time spent on activities that drain your time and energy. Get in touch with your strengths, and find a way to incorporate these strengths into your life and your work every day or at least on a regular basis. Cultivate happiness and joy!

Get adequate sleep, eat mindfully, and exercise regularly. Know when your schedule is full, and practice saying no. Set healthy boundaries and limits. Schedule time for being instead of always doing. Slow down your pace. Life is not a race to the next moment or to the end.

Treat yourself as though you were your only child. Once you get the hang of it, try approach others with this same attitude. Find the common thread of humanity between you and anyone you meet.

Savor the simple pleasures. Seek out expressions of beauty and healthy pleasure. Get out into nature every day, and stop to notice all of the beauty that surrounds you every day. Notice the beauty in creative expression. Savor the smell and taste of nourishing foods. When you experience a moment of happiness or pleasure, stop to become aware of how you feel in your body, mind, and heart, savor the experience, and then recall the experience several times throughout the day.

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