Independence Blue Cross #mindPHL Wellness Corner: Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Mindfulness and meditation exercises, no matter how brief, can help ground us in the moment and bring us to a new awareness of our body and surroundings.

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Model self-care this holiday weekend and beyond.

Award-winning author Amy Edelstein has empowered more than 10,000 students in Philadelphia public schools with a special mindfulness curriculum. Her organization, Inner Strength Education, specializes in teen mental health, and works in schools with students and teachers both.

“Students learn about everything from the developing adolescent brain, to the impact of culture on their own experience, to how to dial down anger and reactivity,” says Edelstein. “They also learn tools that strengthen their muscles of kindness and care. They learn that they can build their own inner strength and outer stability, qualities that help them succeed academically and in life.”

These are lessons that anyone can use, no matter what their age or circumstance. The techniques can be as simple as this calming mindful awareness practice:

Wherever you are, notice how your feet are making contact with the floor.

Is one foot heavier on the ground than the other?

Can you feel the pull of gravity on your heels or the balls of your feet? Feel how solid the floor or earth is under your feet.

Are your shoes or socks cozy or loose?

Wiggle your toes and notice the different sensations.

Are you standing up? Notice your balance and how your spine rises up.

Are you sitting down? Notice the chair holding you, solid underneath.

Finally, bring your attention to your hands. Feel where they are resting, notice their weight and temperature.

When you finish, take a relaxed inhalation and exhalation. Look around you and pay attention to any new details you might be noticing. Appreciate the focus and any small shifts in your experience.

Discover more, including free audio-guided meditations and a special Welcome America Toolkit, at Inner Strength Education.

Sunday, June 28: Exercise

No matter how you like to stay active, find out how exercise can have a profound effect on emotional wellness.

Monday, June 29: Art & Music

Learn more about the mood-boosting benefits of art and music.

Tuesday, June 30: Nutrition

Find out how food influences your mood and get tips for making meals that help you feel good.

Wednesday, July 1: Relaxation & Stress Reduction

Discover how to use techniques such as breathing, meditation, and yoga to relax and feel better.

Thursday, July 2: Connecting with Friends & Family

Learn how to better support one another and stay connected.

Friday, July 3: Enjoying the Outdoors

Learn how getting outside can help create a positive outlook.

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