A Tiny Practice for Countering Stress

We all experience the stress of modern living and know that it takes a toll on our health — so how do we create a counterbalance?

You can use this #TinyPractice from mindfulness expert Shauna Shapiro anytime and anywhere to reconnect with a softer, kinder side of yourself.


The Upshot of Kindness

The small hand-over-the-heart gesture is a simple way to cultivate positive change in the midst of stressful moments. As Shauna shared at Mindful Living, a recent LifeWork event, practicing kindness with ourselves bathes our system with dopamine, which turns on the reward and pleasure centers of our brains — we are biologically designed to not only recognize that kindness feels good but also to take action toward creating more of it. This #TinyPractice is a great way to do just that.

Shauna Shapiro, PhD, is a professor at Santa Clara University, a clinical psychologist, and an internationally recognized expert in mindfulness. She is coauthor of The Art and Science of Mindfulness and Mindful Discipline, a loving approach to raising an emotionally intelligent child.

Filmed at Mindful Living, a LIfeWork event held at the EILEEN FISHER showroom in New York City, fall 2017.

What is your top stressor? Will this #TinyPractice help?

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  • Shirley says:

    I often find myself in groups or meetings where I would rather not be. I am going to try this practice to get through it And ultimately NOT BE WHERE I DONT WANT TO BE.

  • Shirley says:

    Excellent start to my day.

  • Marijo says:

    Thank you for this tiny practice series! I recently started talking to myself as I would a friend and that helps tame negative internal chatter when it arises. Now I will incorporate the hand to the heart gesture to underscore the moment.

  • Jen says:

    THe feeling as I have to immediately respond to whatever or whomever is presenting right now – that even includes myself – it’s as “if I think it I must do it…” instead of recognize and realize I am doing, just by being and whatever and whomever is not asking immediacy of me but that it’s my own inner voice demanding I be more than what I am. Breathing is being and being is doing and THAT is enough. Now if I can

  • Karen says:

    The constant pressure of texts &, phone calls…I find it overwhelming. Perhaps it is my age. I grew up with one tetelphone and now people can contact you day and night….even ones you’d rather not speak to. I have four granddaughters so I dislike shutting my phone off in case they need me.

  • Michele says:

    Getting everything done but Wanting to do so much.
    Further complicated by Being type 1 diabetic with lousy control.

  • Martha Bushey says:

    Thank you, Shauna!

  • Theresa says:

    Excessive commercialism!! Constant ads for things we don’t truly need evokes stress and a since of wanting to avoid gift giving because of it’s commercialization. Most ads make gift giving look shallow. Instead of emphasizing community and sharing advertising around the holidays emphasize materialism.

  • Theresa says:

    There are many…….. Irrational and angry drivers on the roads, traffic, unpleasant and angry people, so much to do in a short period of time. My childhood family was full of unhappiness, self-made traumas and stressors throughout the holiday season. Now that they are all deceased, other than the great loss that I feel, I am able to celebrate with my family and friends on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day open house. Practicing #tinypractice will be so helpful. Thank you

  • Julie says:

    I’ve finally taken the time to open the Lifework emails and they are wonderful. Be kind to yourself and it’s easier to be kind to others.

  • Gina DeSantis says:

    Balancing my professional life with what i think I need to be as a holiday hostess.

  • Carolyn says:

    I loved this little ritual and it does feel good. I’m going to try it! It’s always a little stressful blending holiday traditions and expectations with visiting step kids:)

  • Meg says:

    Family dynamics and trauma history surrounding the holidays. Pausing to anchor myself, reminding myself that I am safe, will be a tremendous help.

  • Valerie says:

    #tinypractice is a lovely idea! Practicing kindness starts with ourselves.
    Thank you!

  • Ann Ludwig says:

    My stressor is relationships with other people. I am adding hand to heart to my self loving and self forgiving practices. I am so grateful for this program and hope to get to Irvington to participate live one day. In the meantime the video production and web access is so smooth and flawless, so EF, that I feel I am there. This is a real enhancement to my life. Thank you.

  • GG says:

    Feeling obligated to buy expensive gifts when you don’t have the $

    • Marla Del says:

      I have found that gifts that are smaller, more imaginative, or gifts that are handmade, are met with with more joy from the receivers!

  • Jan Wood says:

    Some family members are my triggers, they make me anxious. This season I will try and take a deep breath and not let them affect me. If I can do this my holidays would be more calm.

  • Glenda Collins says:

    Year after year being let go of a job in Sept/Oct and not finding or being hired until January.

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