Repeat after me….Stop, Breathe, Let Go
Have you ever walked in to a room and completely forgotten why you went in there? Have you ever driven home from work and not remembered the trip? Did you know that these trance like states are actually a form of meditation???
The truth is, we meditate several times every day, without even knowing it. The problem is, we aren’t focussed in the right way. Our minds are very good at catching hold of a thought and running with it, and a lot of the time these thoughts have negative themes attached, such as anger, fear and stress. Negative emotions are powerful and stressful, easily taking hold of our thoughts and our lives.
So, how do you spend less time worrying and more time being calm and peaceful? There’s no easy answer, but it’s important to start somewhere. Making an intention to spend a little bit of time each day to stop and notice your thoughts and emotions, and to practice non attachment, can go a long way in bringing calm and stillness into your life.
It’s difficult to imagine that the rollercoaster of our thoughts can be trained or focussed relatively simply for short periods. If you can focus your energy on being angry or sad, surely you can find a few short minutes on finding peace and calm????
All you have to do is repeat this three step mantra…. Stop, breathe, let go…
1. Stop- anywhere and anytime you have a few minutes to spare, stop what you are doing and find a quiet spot. Seated upright on a cushion is best, however you may only be able to manage sitting in the car seat (we have to be practical here!). Make yourself unavailable for the next few minutes (or as long as you can manage).
2. Breathe– close your eyes and take some time to breathe slowly and deeply from your belly. Breathing from your diaphragm allows you to take in more oxygen, which increases healthy blood flow and gives you more energy. Also breathing slowly and with control, brings instant calm to your body and mind. I teach my yoga students that the breath is the gateway between the body and the mind.
3. Let Go– Try to focus on an image or object. The most simple and often the most effective way is to focus on your breath. This will help you to be present in the moment. Keep at it, refocus if you get distracted, which does occur often even for the most experienced of meditators.
Your mind is a wonderful and powerful tool. Accept where you are at on any particular day without judgement. Any time spent practicing meditation is amazing. Just start somewhere and keep doing it, it does get easier. Goodluck!