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30-Minute Mindful Breaks

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

Finding a quiet moment to relax and unwind can be difficult for the average person. But if you can manage to find 25 minutes you should use your time wisely. Studies show that just a few minutes of mindful breaks can alleviate psychological stress.

When you take daily mindful breaks it can do wonders for your health. A study from Carnegie Mellon University researched a group of people between 18 and 30 years old partaking in a brief meditation. They found that the participants experienced “psychological stress resilience” after practicing mindful meditation. All it took was a little know how and 25 minutes of mindful relaxation over three consecutive days. Fortunately, with just a few tips we can all follow this example to better our mental health.

Four Tips for 30-Minute Mindful Breaks

  • Find the time. The first step is always the hardest. Our time is limited and precious, so finding an extra 25 minutes in your schedule can be a challenge. It’s important to get creative. Can you spare the time during your commute? How about a few minutes before bed? Try to actually arrange time in your work schedule or make it a priority the moment you come home from work.
  • Monitor your breathing. Taking full, abdominal breaths makes you calmer and helps with your blood circulation and digestive system. What is abdominal breathing? It’s when air comes through your nose and fills your lungs and the lower belly expands. For abdominal breathing exercises, you should sit or lie down in a calm room and take abdominal breaths through your nose and out your mouth.
  • Use imagery. While you breathe close your eyes and focus on an image or mantra to relax. Also, try closing your eyes and scanning your body. Focus on the movements and twitches of your body. Start from the small, lower parts of your body and move upwards, from your baby toe to your foot and slowly up your leg. Pretending that a ball of energy is traveling through your body can help.
  • Keep at it. The participants in the study reaped the benefits after they kept up the mindful practices regularly. So be faithful with your meditation time and don’t give up.


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