Be it screaming toddlers, a tough-to-deal-with colleague or relationship breakdown, everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives.
While a healthy amount of stress does pose some benefits, most of the time the effect of prolonged stress is taxing on the body and mind - so it's important to learn how to calm down.
You may have heard about the benefits of practising mindfulness meditation: including decreased feelings of anxiety and depression, a reduced production of the stress hormone cortisol and increased resilience.
Grant Rix, director at the Mindfulness Education Group, says practising mindfulness means we learn how to live calmly in the present moment and not over-think things.
"With mindfulness we spend less time worrying about the future or fixating on the past and can allow unhelpful thoughts to simply pass by so we can focus on the task at hand," says Rix.
"When we do this, we see clearly where our attention is and the effects this has on our overall well-being. If it is good, we can stay with it, if it is not so good, the mental strength we develop through mindfulness helps us to let it go and return our attention to something more positive or neutral."
Stress often exists in the past or future (think: ruminating over past regrets or fretting about tomorrow morning's meeting), so training your mind to be present can be highly beneficial.
"When you pay attention to your breathing and tune into the sensations in your body, which is common during mindfulness, you can give your over-taxed mind a rest.
"Instead of feeling the effects of worry in the body, your nervous system begins to self-regulate and your body and mind find balance in the present moment," says Rix.
"Findings so far suggest that mindfulness works by positively affecting brain areas involved in attention control, emotion regulation and self-awareness."
Essentially, mindfulness refers to intentionally focusing on your immediate experience, so it can be done anywhere and anytime - while walking the dog, sitting on the couch or lying in bed.
However, Rix recommends sitting upright with your hands placed on your thighs.
Close your eyes and aim to bring your attention to the present.
Focus on your insular experience: feel how your breath moves through your body as you inhale and exhale.
You may also take notice of your external environment - are there any sounds you notice? Smells? How does your skin feel against the air?
It's normal for your mind to wander; if it does bring it back to your breathing.
Rix recommends doing this for at least three to five minutes, then compare how you felt before the mindfulness exercise with how you felt afterwards.
- WeddingsDying bride's perfect day: My final dream has come true
Woman's DayToday 2:25pm
- RoyalsPrince Harry's trick to beating a heatwave? ‘Budgie smugglers’, he says
Now To LoveToday 1:00pm
- TVWhat drove these celebs to sign up for Celebrity Treasure Island
Woman's DayToday 12:35pm
- Pregnancy & BirthWhy model Ashley Graham's baby bump photo has got everyone talking
Now To LoveToday 12:07pm
- RoyalsDuchess Catherine honours this lucky nine-year-old to celebrate World Photography Day
Now To LoveToday 11:15am
- CareerI loved him like a son: Phil Kingsley Jones remembers Jonah Lomu in his final years
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 9:29am
- TVMatty McLean says he's lived some of his proudest moments on Celebrity Treasure Island
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 9:09am
- TVThe redemption of former All Black Zac Guildford on Celebrity Treasure Island
Now To LoveYesterday 8:45pm
- TVKarl Burnett quits Celebrity Treasure Island as mental health suffers
Now To LoveYesterday 8:30pm
- Married at First SightMAFS' Cyrell Paule is expecting a baby with Love Island's Eden Dally
Now To LoveYesterday 1:21pm
- Pregnancy & BirthAll the gorgeous details from Samantha Hayes’ 'beautiful' baby shower
Now To LoveYesterday 12:17pm
- TVFour curious things we've learned about the stars on Celebrity Treasure Island
Now To LoveYesterday 10:42am
- TVThe first trailer for Married at First Sight NZ has been released and it's utter chaos
Now To LoveYesterday 9:48am
- RoyalsDuchess Meghan and Prince Harry jet off on another family holiday to the south of France
Now To LoveYesterday 9:15am
- FamilyWhy Karl Burnett is hoping to be voted off Celebrity Treasure Island
Woman's DayYesterday 8:30am