Life can come at us quickly—we all know that! I sometimes find myself stirred up by personal matters, work issues, or even the daily news. Thoughts and emotions get triggered and suddenly I find my mind spinning. Anxiousness sets in and I need to regain my equilibrium. I am sure this happens to you, too.
So, what to do? I press the pause button, and take a moment to sit and find my breath. By sitting and being mindful, I am able to refocus. I can get beneath the agitated waters and find the calm that lies below.
Mindfulness—which, at its most fundamental level, simply means being conscious or aware—is a tool that we can use for relief at almost any time, anywhere.
Try the below exercise the next time you feel overwhelmed, upset, or stressed out:
When your mind is racing—I have to join the gym! I need to make dinner! I have to pay my bills!—focus on the task you are doing at the present moment. For example, you might think: “This is me, driving a car. My hands are on the steering wheel, and the steering wheel is wrapped in leather. The sun is out.”
I know what you’re thinking: This seems too simple! It truthfully works, however, and it can really help to prevent information and sensory overload (which can cause you all sorts of stress, like overthinking and anxiety). It is an assertion of your power to bring yourself back to the moment that you’re in. This kind of conscious thinking helps refocus us.
Give it a shot!
When we start applying mindfulness techniques within our everyday lives, we become less distracted. All those emotions, reactions, and feelings we feel become less-intensely charged. We start to recognize that whatever we are experiencing is temporary and will pass. We also start enjoying the good moments even more.
When we make this investment in ourselves, and when we connect to ourselves on a deeper level, we can find stable ground.