What a Daily Dose of Mindful Moments Can Do for You
Braking for mindful moments throughout the day is a way to take mindfulness from an inner practice to an active practice by taking intentional action. The daily challenges of life are endless and stopping to take a mindful moment is a way to meet the shifting challenges a given day brings. A mindful moment practice is pausing regularly throughout the day to take mindful action, either for your own well-being or for that of others.
Without deliberate stress-buffering practices needed in the moment stress strikes, stress can easily accumulate and make your day go dismal in no time. A daily stream of mindful moments can keep you from stressing out and slipping into autopilot. Your mindful moments can be stress-relieving, tension-releasing, relaxing, calming, energizing, self-soothing, or mood- lifting as the moment commands.
Pausing for brief mindful breaks interspersed throughout your day can be a way to cultivate mindfulness as well as reduce stress and negativity, sustain a positive outlook, and nurture self- compassion. Your mindful moments can also foster kind, generous, and thoughtful actions when targeted for the benefit of others. An ideal use of mindful moments is to incorporate them into a routine part of your day, such as the beginning or end of the day, before or after meals, or transitioning from your work life to your home life.
Research shows very brief mindful moment practices can be restorative in many ways, including reducing your stress level, boosting your mood, keeping you more alert and focused, and improving your performance. For example, in Stress Free for Good: 10 Scientifically Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness, the authors write it takes only 3 to 4 deep breaths, about 10 seconds, to shut down the stress response. And just 2 minutes of exercise that raises your heart rate can change your mood. According to Dr. John Ratey, Harvard medical school professor and author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, anything from jumping jacks to a quick sprint works like an antidepressant to release a surge of dopamine and serotonin.