Lean back in your chair and look around. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Pay special attention to the details at this moment. What is this all about? This simple observation is a so-called MBSR exercise. The abbreviation stands for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - stress reduction through mindfulness, a holiday for body and soul. The training was developed about 40 years ago by the US molecular biologist Jon Kabat-Zinn and is now experiencing a renaissance.
In everyday life, many people tend to constantly run after their thoughts: while we are showering, we think about making coffee and the phone call we have to make first thing in the office. We switch into a kind of autopilot that steers us through the day, but blinds us to anything that could positively distract us from our thought carousel. This triggers negative stress in the body, which can result in burnout, depression, panic attacks, pain and anxiety. "Mindfulness in this context means turning off the body's autopilot, being consciously in the here and now by perceiving, smelling, tasting, seeing, hearing," explains Lara Drockner, employee in the spa area of the Romantik- und Wellnesshotel Deimann in Schmallenberg. Here, guests can learn various meditation techniques that also support self-healing and can be integrated into everyday life. "It all starts with conscious breathing," says Drockner. "Which of the mindfulness exercises works for the guests in each case is completely individual."
Three simple exercises to live a more relaxed and healthy life
Breathe away the stress
"Conscious breathing is our anchor in stressful situations!" says Lara Drockner. Focusing on your breathing in difficult situations relaxes you and gives you inner peace. You can incorporate this exercise into your everyday life in almost any place: Sit with your back upright, relax your shoulders, place one hand flat on your stomach, close your eyes. Now breathe in deeply through your nose. Feel how the air flows into the body, spreads out and how the abdominal wall bulges. Breathe out in the same relaxed way. Feel how the air flows out of the body and the abdominal wall lowers again. Repeat this process ten times. "We recommend that our guests set a reminder on their mobile phone so that they are reminded of their breath anchor one to three times a day," says Lara Drockner.
Getting up too late, sprinting to the bathroom and the coffee machine to make it to the office on time - that's how many people start their day, and this tension often lasts until the evening. Mindfulness in the morning helps to stay focused and relaxed throughout the day. The mindful start can be trained: After waking up, lie still for a few minutes and look at the ceiling of the room: What does it look like? Does the light cast shadow patterns? Are there any spots or peculiarities? Only then sit up, stretch, feel into your body. Where is it tense? What thoughts and feelings arise in you? Notice them without judging them. Now start your day - calm and relaxed.
Scan the body
Healing processes and relaxation are stimulated when one's own body is consciously perceived more often. "You need to plan half an hour for such a body scan," says Lara Drockner. You can do such a conscious walk through your body while lying or sitting. The important thing is that your body and mind come to rest. Start by breathing in and out calmly. Close your eyes as you exhale and concentrate on the individual parts of your body - from your feet to your head. How do your toes feel? Where do they touch the floor? Move your toes and feet. What do you feel? Which muscles are activated for the movement? The aim of this mindful walk: to get a deeper sense of the interplay between mind and body, to reduce tension and prevent stress-related illnesses.
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