Slow down stressful situations with 'mindfulness' technique

Mindfulness can improve heart health by 83 percent

GAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Crying babies, traffic jams, arguments are all part of our fast paced lives. But what if you tried slowing down those stressful situations?

The technique is called "mindfulness" and it's becoming a hot topic among therapists like Benjamin Reisterer at Mindful Counseling GR.

"Take a deep breath and really understand what's upsetting you in that moment you can communicate on more of a mindful level and a more authentic and respectful level," Reisterer said. "The more that you slow down and kind of pay attention to it the more you'll understand what's going on and how it's affecting you -- and you'll move from reacting to what's going on to responding to what's going on in your life."

The acronym RAIN helps explain mindfulness:

  • R - is for recognizing the emotions your feeling.
  • A - is for accepting the experience you're having.
  • I - is for investigating your experience. Where are you feeling the emotion in your body.
  • N - is for Non-Identification - see the emotion you're experiencing as a passing event. It will not last and therefore does not define you.

"It's really about just slowing down and paying attention in a non-judgmental way."

Reisterer created the app Metafi to help his patients and others work towards becoming more Mindful. "It's like exercise," he explained. "The more you do it, the more results that you have. But if we're really paying attention to the physiological responses, sometimes that's our first clue to what we're actually experiencing in that moment."

By letting go of negative patterns you begin to feel more in control of your life which leads to less stress and a more hopeful, peaceful and healthy outlook.

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Follow Val Lego on Twitter @ValerieLego. Got a health story idea? Email her at vallego@wzzm13.com.

© 2017 WZZM-TV


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