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Handling Stress Through Mindful Practice

Dr. Romeo Castillo Health and Wellness, Mind

Stress is a debilitating condition that can have an effect on work, relationships and your health.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), 66% to 75% of the population suffers from moderate to severe stress.

In the 13 years that I have been honored to serve the community of Hanford, I have noticed one of the most common reasons for visits is stress-related conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Most people stress over events that happened in the past or worry about events that might happen in the future. It’s estimated that we have 70,000 thoughts each day. Often times, negative thoughts can lead to suffering, but there are ways to interrupt the brain cycle to prevent burnout and build resilience through a method called “mindful practice.” This is a tool or technique that teaches us how to be in tune with ourselves and keeps our minds from being lost in thoughts from the past or future.

In a study conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles, researchers found that mindfulness boosted the immune system and increased a healing response in psoriasis patients. They also found that mindfulness improves attention deficit disorders. It has the ability to change the structure of the brain within eight weeks of practice.

We have the capability to transform our mind to benefit us, physically, mentally and spiritually. So how is mindful practice accomplished? We can get to this state of joy through a simple process of mindfulness meditation.

There are several ways to practice mindfulness. One simple way is to take at least 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to sit still, assume a comfortable position and become aware of sensations as you scan your body. Your breath should be your main focus. If the mind starts to wander, escort your focus back to your breathing. This will, in turn, bring you back to the here and now. Try this every day, and you should notice a difference over time.