International Stress Awareness Day was last Wednesday!
This was a day to spread awareness and knowledge about stress. This is the display that was set up in the University Centre, it outlined facts about stress and strategies to decrease the amount of stress in your life.
Here are some recommendations for stress reduction:
- Manage time effectively
- Don’t take on too many commitments
- Take time out to relax and recharge
- Think positively
- Avoid using alcohol, drugs and caffeine to cope
- Eat regularly and nutritiously
- At least 20 minutes of daily physical activity
- Listen to music you enjoy
The free presentation “Diet, Stress and IBS” was a great success and provided a great deal of useful information. Here is a sample of the information that was presented.
Strategies to relax the GI tract:
- Breathing from the diaphragm
- Progressive muscle relaxation in the abdomen, lower back and hips
- Walking regularly
- Learn to be assertive- get comfortable saying “NO” and don’t take on too many commitments
For good GI Function:
- Eat regularly- every 3-4 hours
- Eat nutritiously and drink enough water
- Avoid too much or too little fibre
- Eat slowly and chew thoroughly
- Establish a regular routine for eating, exercise and sleeping
- Reduce stress
What is mindfulness, and how can it help you?
If you feel stressed and need a change in order to be more successful and focused, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) could be for you. MBSR is a great way to learn about your body and mind, while reducing the amount of stress in your everyday life.
Mindfulness is defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” This definition is often used as a guideline, noting that mindfulness is a type of meditation that brings your attention to the present moment, your conditioned mental habits/thoughts and intentional ways of being in the world.
Mindfulness can relieve stress through increasing:
- Attention regulation
- Body awareness
- Emotion regulation
- Sense of self
The combination of these aspects allows the mind to create a desired sense of overall wellbeing and calm. This form of meditation will help you to ease worrying and increase your resiliency in stressful situations. Taking as little as 10 minutes out of your day to practice mindfulness and meditation can be an effective way to both manage and decrease your stress level.
If you are interested in learning more about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and beginning practice, there are several places in the Guelph area that can provide more information…
Mindfulness Resources in Guelph and Area
- University of Guelph – Counselling Services for U of G students
- Guelph – Barbara Wilkinson: www.barbarawilkinson.com
- Guelph – Denise MacCarthy: http://www.breathe123.ca/groups.php
- Breslau – Ross Clark: free intro session on Sept 23 at 6:30 pm – email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
In addition to this, there are guided meditations available online. For example:
- How to meditate in a moment
- And if you have time for a longer mindful meditation, here is one with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Some Mindfulness Apps:
- www.Mentalworkout.com – Structured 10, 15 or 20-day tutorials, short guided meditation lessons and additional events
- www.Onemomentmeditation.com – Six guided meditations, tips on staying focused, relaxation exercise, calendar synchronization. Offerings are quick to use, additional information is helpful and lessons are targeted at beginners.