How to slow down?
Breathe ... Take a deep breath in … and a deep breath out … just simply watch your breath … already noticing how different that made you feel?
Slowing down is definitely something we all struggle with. Booked up calenders, busy at work, never ending to do lists, multiple errands all at once… and where is that time for you?
We are constantly being engaged; by sound, by visuals, by conversation, by our phones, tablets and TV. When do we clock out? We live in such fast paced lifestyles, constantly feeling the need to be productive and keep up with this digital/ social media era. Constantly looking for something to entertain us. It is no wonder that most of us cannot sit still. Sit still physically, but also mentally in our thoughts, and emotionally with our feelings. Maybe when finally get that 'down time' our mind is still buzzing and distracted. ( I do it - Savasana... think about what I am going to eat/make for dinner)
I admit that I often sit with an overactive mind; it is just about finding an outlet for that busy mind to rest. Invest that active mind elsewhere to some good/better use. That leads me to relax, like this… writing. Or making time to go to a yoga class where I can fully relax, shut off, quieten my mind through someone guiding me into yoga/meditation.
B R E E A A T H E E E
How many times do you hold your breath in a day? Notice are you even breathing right now? Notice the depth and quality of your breathing...
Take some time out, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed... just breathe.
It is a simple tool that EVERYONE can do, ANYWHERE. Even on your lunch break. Just sit or stand, close your eyes and take deep breaths in and out.
Here is a short 3 minute guided breathing exercise:
Y O G A
Yoga is a flowing, moving form of meditation. For me it engages all my senses so all my focus is in my practice. Helping me to create that mind space. And breaathhheeeee…
As a freelance yoga teacher with a busy and inconsistent schedule, I now crave and connect with much slower practices e.g. really slow yin yoga! I go to Yin yoga on Mondays with @DannyFionaYoga at the beautiful Space at the Mill.
M E D I T A T E
I am currently reading "The art of meditation" by Matthieu Ricard (an easy read). It talks about meditation guiding us to freedom. Freedom from the millions of thoughts buzzing around our mind, the never ending to do lists, the overwhelming and contrasting emotions, mad busy work days, daily routine and draining social interactions.
I liked the analogy mentioned in the book, of just being, to simply know. - "Knowing in itself is neither good nor bad…a glass of water might contain cyanide that could kill us on the spot. But the same water could be mixed with healing medicine. In either case, H2O, the chemical formula of water it self, remains unchanged; in itself, it was never poisonous or medicinal. The different states of the water are temporary and circumstantial. ‘’
This reflects that our feelings, thoughts, moods, bad characteristic, habits are also temporary, circumstantial. Our emotions, thoughts and moods don’t define us.
Take some time out to meditate, sit quietly with your thoughts. Practice mindfulness. A nice visual that students have shared with me. “Meditation is like a massage for the brain”. “breathing … is like a smile inside, bringing that space into my body, to use the breath to notice how tense you are”.
Here is short 8 minute body awareness meditation:
C H I L L T O M U S I C
Try listening and getting lost in some music. I am loving this beautiful playlist at the moment on Spotify by Akira Kosemura :
T A K E U P A N E W H O B B Y
Try learning a new skill, finding a new hobby. Get engrossed, lost and focused into the present moment. Trying something new, takes you out of your daily routine, out of your mind and into a different environment; a different mind space. Helping you find your 'out of work zone' / form of relaxation. Try taking up salsa dancing, learn a language, learn an instrument, book clubs, running, painting, drawing, knitting, baking.
Manchester is such a great place to find niches, meet ups, communities that are so friendly and fun!
Here are a few community/cafe spaces that have great events on!
J O U R N A L L I N G
I find that writing things down help to declutter my mind. Whether that is organising my to do list over a week period (not expecting to do everything off one list in one day- prioritise) or jotting my ideas down, or writing a journal entry. I absolutely love Bullet Journaling. I have found it has been the best way for me to organise my brain! Organised but flexible for change. Here is a short 4 minute video explaining how to use a bullet journal:
I hope this blog entry has given you some insight into slowing that brain dooowwwn... helping you to create some mind space for yourself. To take care of yourself, so that you can do all of your other aspects in life better! Allow your self to be more in the present and less in the whirlwind of your mind.
Always feel free to comment or message me via email – email@example.com