If you feel you don’t have any control over the way your horrid parent starts and/or manipulates an argument, mindfulness can help by creating space between you and what is going on.     

With practice it can remove you from feeling you are in the situation to observing it.  There are many different techniques you can use.   The best known is meditation.  This involves being conscious of your breath and letting your thoughts cross your mind, with their associated emotions, without you trying to get involved in them.   

The special breathing can be done anywhere, at any time and involves being still and focusing on your breath.  Try it initially for one minute.   

Breathe in through the nose counting to three and out through the mouth for another three.  Take it easily and gently and try not to think of anything else. Be aware of each breath as it travels in and then out of your body.  Once you manage to concentrate for a minute try two or three.   

This breathing technique and becoming more aware of your surroundings will help you stay in the present moment and relieve your stress.  It can also prevent any feelings of anxiety from past or possible future events from overwhelming you.

 Committing yourself totally to the present moment isn’t easy and you need to be patient with yourself.  Try to take each day as it come.  It will also help if you can enjoy some of life’s simple wonders like the way the clouds move, the flight of birds and even drops of water when  you turn on a tap.   

Also try looking at an object like a tree as if you are seeing it for the first time.  Think about how it has grown from a tiny seed, how the branches lift to the sunlight and the extraordinary way leaves open in the spring. Concentrate on it for a couple of minutes without letting yourself think about anything else.  

If a negative thought comes into your mind, take a moment to recognise what it is and then try to release it by willing it away.  With practice mindfulness can help rid you of automatic negative reactions and replace them with positive ones.   

Mindfulness works for many people but not everyone.  If it makes you feel uncomfortable stop doing it.  Seeing friends, listening to music and reading are other ways of helping you escape from stress.   

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