Mindfulness practice has a variety of benefits. Helping you build resilience is one of the key benefits to developing a day-to-day mindfulness practice.

When dealing with stress or anxiety, it can be hard to cope. Your emotions may feel unmanageable or overwhelming.

Mental health conditions may make it hard to get through times of crisis or healthily handle stress. But mindful coping strategies are available to help you relax and find a state of peace in your life.

If you seek to become more self-aware and handle stress better, mindfulness practice may be something to consider.

Mindfulness is about living in the present moment and being intentional. Resilience is defined as bouncing back from adverse life events or recovering quickly from difficulties.

Resilience also is related to the characteristics that allow you to thrive after an adverse event. Mindfulness and resilience often go hand and hand.

Research from 2021, evaluated the impact mindfulness-based practice and physical activity have on the development of resilience.

Findings indicated that mindfulness-based practice could lead to greater levels of individual resilience.

Types of resilience

There are various types of resiliency. Understanding the four different types of resilience may be essential to building resilience.

  • Physical resilience. The ability of your body to maintain stamina and face challenges while recovering quickly. Physical resilience often declines with age.
  • Emotional resilience. The ability to regulate your emotions when faced with stressful or unexpected events.
  • Mental resilience. The ability to handle crises and learn how to deal with challenges in your life.
  • Social resilience. The ability of social systems to handle and recover from events such as political, social, and economic problems.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding techniques

Grounding techniques are one method of building resilience. Grounding techniques are a steady physical and emotional presence supported “by the ground”.

One grounding technique that is helpful for many is the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. Consider taking time to notice your surroundings in the present moment by naming:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

This calming technique can help you reduce anxiety and build emotional regulation skills.

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is supported in research as a method of resiliency training.

For example, a 2019 study that used a mindfulness meditation-based intervention compared the effects of a 4-day intensive meditation to a control group. Findings indicate that mindfulness meditation improved resilience up to three months after the intervention.

Body scan meditation

The body scan meditation is a brief meditation that allows you to gain awareness of different body parts and the present sensations. Body scan meditation works by mentally tuning into awareness of your body from feet to head.

The purpose is to connect with your body and reduce stress. A large 2021 study found that this can be done virtually with mindfulness facilitators, effectively reducing stress and anxiety.

Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique that aims to relieve tension and stress in the body. It involves you tensing and relaxing each major muscle group from your feet to your head.

Research from 2021 indicates that PMR can alleviate stress, provide a more relaxed state, and improve overall well-being.

Using this technique can help you build resilience to stress in the future. Another review suggests cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which includes muscle relaxation, can help you fall asleep, and it has shown positive effects on individuals with insomnia.

Mindful breathing exercises

Deep breathing exercises are another way you can reduce stress. There are many different breathing techniques; many involve breathing through your nose, holding your breath, and exhaling.

How long you hold your breath is dependent on the type of breathing exercise you do.

Research that examined the impact of a six-week deep breathing practice daily for a short duration suggests that deep breathing techniques can improve cognitive processes.

As previously explored, mindfulness practice can help build resilience, but mindfulness practice has other benefits. Awareness of the present moment without judgment can help you better understand your thoughts and emotions while accepting them as they are.

Mindfulness practice can lead to changes in your brain. In other words, mindfulness can rewire your brain to function differently than it did before.

A 2021 review suggests that PMR and deep breathing may improve mood and change activity in stress-related regions of the brain, such as:

One common mindfulness technique is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). MBSR often involves mindfulness practices such as yoga, body scan meditation, and mindfulness meditation.

A 2018 literature review of the MBSR technique suggests that MBSR effectively reduces burnout, stress, depression, and anxiety among employees.

Mindfulness can also help improve your emotional well-being, particularly when undergoing stressful situations or dealing with mental conditions, such as depression or anxiety.

One 2017 study that examined the impact of loving-kindness meditation and mindfulness meditation among 339 adults found that both practices increased positive emotions. Researchers suggested that both techniques could improve overall emotional well-being.

Mindfulness is the intentional awareness of the present moment. You can build resilience, become more self-aware, and reduce stress by practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness becomes easier with practice. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, from deep breathing to progressive muscle relaxation. Finding mindfulness practices that work for you can improve your overall well-being.

If you’re looking for ways to start mindfulness practices, consider visiting The Free Mindfulness Project website. They offer a variety of meditations and guided imagery practices to help you jump-start your practice.