The words “mindfulness practice” tend to conjure up visions of robed monks upon a mountain top in silent meditation. Though that is one way to do it, I’m assuming if you are reading this blog that isn’t your life (or if I am wrong and it is, that’s great! Thanks for using what little internet access you have to read this post….).
A meditation practice is an amazing way to gradually train the brain towards calm and focus, but in the midst of day-to-day life there are plenty of quick ways to reconnect with your center. The following are a few simple tricks to practice, no meditation cushion needed:
-Take a Deep Breath: We all find ourselves spinning out from time to time. Situations we view as stressful excite the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system and can result in reactive behavior. Simply taking a deep breath (or 10, or 15….) is a simple way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) before things spiral out of control. This allows for access to conscious action instead of knee jerk reaction.
-Feel Your Feet on the Ground: Stress tends to sever the connection we have with our bodies and the earth. If you’ve ever used the phrase “I’m too in my head!” you know what I mean. When caught in a situation that makes you nervous, bring attention to feeling your feet on the ground. It’s a quick way to reconnect to your body and will usually make you feel more grounded, both figuratively and literally.
-Tap it Out: Lightly tapping the area on the breastbone at the bottom of the neck, just below the hollow of the throat, is thought to stimulate the thymus gland. When done consistently, it can promote strength and vitality and increase your overall sense of well being. 15-20 seconds a few times a day has been shown to be helpful in managing stress.
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