Stress contributes to heart disease, depression, and many other physical and mental ailments, according to mindfulness expert Julie Potiker. Yet research shows that mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool to help:
- Reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
- Increase emotional well-being.
- Build more satisfying relationships.
- Maintain healthy habits such as diet and exercise.
Julie is the author of “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos.” A Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher from the University of California, San Diego, she shares a simple way to calm stress from her forthcoming book “SNAP!”
S: Soothing Touch — When you feel stress, where does it show up in your body? Place your hands over that area. It might be your chest, belly, hugging your upper arms, or cradling your face. Try different locations and see which feels most soothing. This supportive touch will allow oxytocin and endorphins to help calm your nervous system.
N: Name the Emotion — Name what you are feeling in the moment. Is it worry? Sadness? Anger? Loneliness? Naming what you feel helps calm the stress response and gives you time to locate it in your body and soften around it.
A: Act — It’s time to use a tool to help yourself feel better. Asking the ultimate Mindful Self-Compassion question — “What do I need right now?” — is the best place to start. Then do what can reasonably be done with what you’ve got in the moment. Julie can share details of tactics to help in a variety of situations, including:
- Dealing with toddler tantrums and teen family drama.
- Creating moments of calm during stressful workdays.
P: Praise — Thank your practice for helping you manage the stress! Thank yourself for showing up day after day, trying to do your best. Thank the universe, or your spirit of choice for giving you the strength and courage to keep on keeping on.
“When you feel anxious, exhausted, depleted or overwhelmed — like you are about to snap — practice SNAP,” Julie says. “Through mindful self-compassion, you can reset so you feel refreshed and ready to embrace your challenging and beautiful life.”
About Julie Potiker: Julie Potiker is a mindfulness expert with extensive teacher training in a variety of tools and methods, including Mindful Self-Compassion. Through her Mindful Methods for Life program offerings and her book — “Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos” — Julie helps others bring more peace and wellness into their lives. For more information, visit MindfulMethodsForLife.com.