Mindfulness & letting go – my tips for a less stressful life
About serenity in the face of an ever-changing world
Hello! My name is Christian Rüger, and I am a naturopath and institute manager at Naturheilzentrum Bottrop (‘nabo’ for short). We recently filmed our new YouTube vlog on the topic of stress at Bottrop’s ‘Indoor Skydiving’ facility. For most People, skydiving is a pure adrenaline kick, which I, of course, really wanted to try out. It was very exciting for me at first. To have your legs swept from under you and suddenly be placed in a horizontal position – everyone should experience this at least once!
However, after the initial adrenaline kick, my perception changed. Instead of freefall, the whole thing felt like weightlessness. Weightlessness with a lot of wind in my face – yes, but still free and untroubled. And then I just let go. It felt like the wind rushing around my ears was carrying my worries away. Since having that experience, I no longer only associate the adrenaline kick with skydiving, but also, paradoxically, with relaxation.
Mindfulness – perceiving the moment
For me, the experience in the wind tunnel had a lot to do with mindfulness. ‘Mindfulness’ means focusing on the ‘here and now’ and leaving your worries behind. Granted, the whole thing is not as easy as it sounds. When I am under a lot of stress, it’s hard for me to get rid of these things. In these moments, it helps me to breathe in and out, focusing only on the moment. We often cling onto the things that stress us out, but we can let go of them just as easily. It is enormously important to be aware of this.
In our modern world, we also quickly forget all the good things that we actually have. Safety, a roof over our heads and, more than anything else, our health. All these things are a gift, but they always sink into oblivion in the vortex of everyday life. Mindfulness, for me, has a lot to do with gratitude for the good things in our lives.
More relaxation in everyday life
Mindfulness, letting go, awareness of the moment – this almost seems a bit esoteric at first glance. But it can actually help a lot, as – among others – the American Mindfulness Research Association’s (AMRA) large study database, which has extensively dealt with the topic of mindfulness, proves:
It helps to understand that the things which burden us do not necessarily control our lives. Rather, we ourselves have the rudder in our hands. This knowledge gives me strength and this is also exactly what I try to convey to my patients. I also notice it in many situations in everyday life. Those who are under pressure the whole time become impatient and irritated. Nobody is immune from that. But taking a step back and withdrawing for a moment can help us a lot. The more I do it, the easier it is for me to relax in everyday life.
Letting go for the sake of your health
When I was preparing the contributions on the topic of stress together with my colleague Farid Zitoun, I realized once again how much chronic stress can burden People and how many now suffer from it. It is all the more important that we help People who feel overwhelmed by the stress in their lives. Mindfulness has also proven itself as a useful method from a scientific point of view, as evidenced by the following study, among others: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19432513
However, when things start to get too much for me, I still have my own Personal secret weapon: I quietly sit down in my favorite chair with a cup of lavender tea, close my eyes, and focus on the moment. And on how grateful I am for the things and especially the People in my life. I will definitely throw myself into the wind tunnel again in the near future because it really was a lot of fun. Incidentally, you can also read in the nabo news about what else you can do to get a little more relaxation into your everyday life: “Stress & Burnout – How work can make us sick”
How do you deal with the topic of stress? Which strategy works best for you? You are welcome to write about your experiences in the comments section. I am looking forward to reading them!