When does your meditation start and when does it stop? Is the sense of awareness you get from your morning meditation something you carry with you throughout the day, or do you leave it behind the minute you walk out the door?

Stress-related illnesses like anxiety and depression are one of the biggest causes of long-term sickness in the workplace, and it seems that employers are beginning to take it seriously. The cause of that stress, whether it’s an angry boss, job security, long hours or increased responsibility, underline that we can’t control everything in our external environment, no matter how much we’d like to. Ultimately, it’s up to us to deal with how we process the stress we feel.

So we can keep telling ourselves (and anyone who will listen) “I’m stressed, I’m stressed, I’m stressed” and thereby ensure that we do, indeed, feel stressed, or we can take a different perspective and use our newfound awareness to be curious. Is stress a physical feeling? Is it an emotional feeling? Is it a story in your mind? Is it a combination of all three and if so, which one starts it all off? If you take the time to get to know stress (through the application of mindfulness), it can start to look like a different beast altogether. In fact, strange as it may sound, stress might even turn out to be your friend.