Tuesday, July 24, 2012
A little breather: the key to a relaxing summer
Money worries, health issues and relationship problems are registered by the brain as a threat to our survival. Adrenalin floods the body so that you will have the necessary energy to deal with the 'enemy' - to either fight it or run from it.
In order to focus on survival, this response over-rides the thinking brain - hence the expression 'I don't know what I was thinking'. You really didn't! The fight or flight response prevents you from hearing the quiet inner voice that could help you find effective solutions.
Don't despair - there is a way out. It is very simple, free and easy to use - the only requirement is that you practice.
The other good news is that it research has shown that only 100 minutes of practise will put you in charge of your brain's responses. With just under 2 hours training, you can calm your mind, lower your stress and give yourself a break from relentless fear and worry.
Breathing. In and out. Over and again.
To give yourself a breather: focus on your nose and as you breathe in through your nose imagine it as a dial turning your inner state down from panic on the in breath to calm on the out breath. The breath comes in one nostril, out the other. From panic to calm. In and out, over and again.
You'll forget and your mind will wander off. You'll find yourself overthinking again. It happens, everyone does it.
Just remember your nose again and go back to the breath and turn the dial down. Everytime you forget, you'll remember again. Don't beat yourself up for forgetting, congratulate yourself for remembering - and give yourself a little breather.
In and out. Over and again.
For more information on the benefits of becoming mindful, make yourself an cup of tea, find yourself a spare hour and listen to Chaede-Meng Tan's sweet, funny and important message on creating world peace through inner peace!
Quiet the Mind is a brilliant guide to meditation by Matthew Johnstone. You can remember the strong pictorial instructions with your eyes are closed!