While there are many self care tips and practitioners to help you relieve stress, taking you out of defense and to calm the noise in your world …
the best practice is found within ~ to be responsible for your thoughts, choices and the results.
Picture a dog with his tail tucked in between his legs, his ears flattened and crouching even closer to the ground. His nose is pointed up in the air, head extended… This dog is in defense. His fight or flight reaction initiated. The changes in posture are to give him the power to flee as he assesses the risk.
Whether in response to fear, physical pain or emotional trauma the response is to protect and/or flee. In many ways we humans are no different with the exception of different neural pathways/connections and an exaggerated thought process. We often overthink things in an attempt to control, and prevent unwanted experiences and emotions whether real or perceived. The result is we are constantly interpreting and adapting to the world around us. In overwhelm our overall health is significantly altered by a dysfunctional balance between physical, chemical and emotional stresses.
It takes us away from the present moment … the ‘NOW”. We find it more difficult to cope. We hang on to outcomes with fear and emotion.
It serves us well in times of real danger. Your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises. You’re ready to act. It is how you protect yourself. But the mind and your perception of difficult situations is not the place from which to live your life. It sends your immune system into overdrive, and you into overwhelm! Remember, balance comes from learning lessons, not preventing them.
Learning to mindfully calm our emotions, letting go of patterns of belief that are not ours, and resetting our equilibrium is important to finding and living our best life on this journey. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I like to think of it as resetting the fuses that have burned out or been blown. This is about taking responsibility for your mental/emotional body as well as your physical and chemical body. Intricately these are connected to each other and extremely important to your well being on the whole.
5 MINDFUL TIPS to create more balance in your life.
- Breathe ~ deeply and slowly into the diaphragm and rib cage, making sure to fully let the air out on expiration. Find time periodically during your day to repeat this. Perhaps each time you stop at a red light. 1-2 times at a go is fine! Or each time you look in a mirror… paste a sticky note on it… you get it.
- Stillness ~ Find a calm time to sit in silence each day. My best time is first thing in the morning. Just breathe. Letting your thoughts drift in and out without trying to fix anything! Connect to feelings that feel happy (like the way you feel when your heart is filled with the joy of watching a child, or a puppy play) rather than worries about an outcome if you can. Gently bring yourself back if you find your thoughts running away with you. It’s also sometimes a good idea to connect to just one feel good word, in the silence of your mind. eg. love or gratitude.
- Movement ~ Take a walk or find a gentle activity that you like to do on your own and indulge in allowing your thoughts to stay as long as they like. Yes, let the thoughts come in and talk yourself through the scenarios. Jumping from one to another…. and back again…. however they roll out. A minimum of 30-45 minutes. Surprising how things work out after or what arises after a long talk with yourself. A walk in the park or by the ocean for example. With only the distraction of nature and your thoughts. OR listen to your favorite music with headphones as you walk. What makes you feel the most pleasure? Do some gentle slow stretching and/or range of movement of our limbs and trunk, head and neck. Let if flow gracefully. Feel it.
- Worthiness ~ paying attention with awareness to your values, even the basic values is a good place to start. Making yourself a priority and creating who you want to be… living by that in the moment. Loving that.
- Journaling ~ Whether of love, gratitude, core values or simply your thoughts for the day, writing it down and later reflecting on your growth is life altering.
“By making time to increase your emotional fitness, you are able to thrive under pressure, develop deeper connections, handle the daily demands of life with greater ease, feel more aligned with your soul’s highest purpose, and feel better supported by those around you.” ~ Matt Kahn
I do love that we are more consciously aware than we have ever been before. And therefore more balanced in many ways.