Last week I talked about allowing for insight. And one of the things I mentioned was having a quiet brain.
How exactly does one quiet their brain? Our brains are always thinking, always presenting us with ideas, worries, warnings and we can’t just stop that. Or can we?
Enter mindfulness. I can hear some of you sighing already but stay with me here. I’m not talking about twenty minutes sitting cross-legged on a pillow chanting with our eyes closed (though it’s not a terrible idea 😊).
I am talking about taking a few minutes to give your mind a rest. This is about training your brain to just shush for a minute, or even just 30 seconds.
There are a million ways to do this, but the simplest and my favourite is to just inhale deeply, all the way down into my belly, hold it for a few seconds and then exhale audibly. Just doing this three times is enough to relax your mind, un-tense your body and calm your central nervous system. But I find an even better benefit: it interrupts my thinking for just a second.
Let’s say I’m ruminating and rethinking a conversation I’ve just had. My brain is presenting me with all kinds of negative indictments (‘why’d you say that’, ‘you’ve really blown it now’, ‘how’re you going to get out of that’) and I’m feeling less and less confident and more and more incompetent. I stop and take those three deep breaths and the thinking stops long enough to break the pattern. Okay, sometimes it takes more than three breaths, but you get the idea 😉
Try this ONE thing
Once today, just once, notice when your emotions are running hot and not serving you and stop and take those three (or more) deep breaths.
Ahhhh, don’t you feel better?
Now repeat again tomorrow.