3 powerful exercises to reclaim your peace
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. As we can go throughout the day moving at a rapid pace, we can become unconscious of our bodies, thoughts, and emotions. This untimely leaves us with the unpleasant feeling of stress and anxiety. Although life may be busy and finding 5 minutes can seem dauntingly impossible, taking the time to become centered can decrease stress and improve your wellbeing. Mindful exercise has the power to release physical and phycological tension. If you find yourself to be a busy bee (like me) start practicing these following mindful exercise’s. The benefits of mindfulness will relax your body, silence your thoughts, and reclaim your peace of mind.
Before beginning these exercises find quite space for yourself. To achieve mindfulness it is important our bodies are in a relaxed state. These exercises can be done seated or lying down. For the duration of the exercises it is also recommend to keeping your eyes closed. This will give you better focus throughout each exercise.
As breathing is involuntary function and does not take our conscious effort you may wonder how this can be used as a mindful exercise. It is for the fact breathing happens unconsciously that makes it the perfect exercise to increase mindfulness. Remember our ultimate goal in the practice of mindfulness is to bring the unconscious to consciousness.
- Start by focusing in on your breathing, breathing in through your nose and out your mouth.
- Bring awareness to your breathing contractions. You can place you hand slightly below your rib cage. You may also notice the contraction of your breathing by watching your abdomen expand. During inhalation our diaphragms should expand; during exhalation your diaphragm should relax. I have often seen this mistake of someone trying to take a deep breath, and with a powerful inhalation contracting there diaphragm inward. This ultimately shortens our ability to receive oxygen and is counterproductive when trying to achieve relaxation. If you are feeling very over whelmed and your breathing is at an uncontrollable rhythm, you can simply find a quiet place to lay with your belly face downward. This will give you an advantage of controlling your diaphragms rhythmic contractions.
- Mentally focus on the travel of your breath. Picture the oxygen traveling through your body on your inhale and out of your body during your exhale.
- Count the seconds of your inhalation. You can start by using 1 second for your inhale and I second for your exhale. Slowly increase your count, moving to 2, then 3, then 4. Continue this exercise for up to the count of 8 seconds. Make sure to not force the duration of your breathing. As your body relaxes it will becoming easier to lengthen the duration of each breath.
Observe your thoughts
If you have mastered the exercise of breathing, it is now time to allow your mind to observe your thoughts. Now that you are in a relaxed state, thoughts that arise will become more observable. This is not a time to judge your thoughts, or yourself for having them. This is a time to familiarize yourself with what is in your mind. By observing your thoughts you can find the depths of your emotions and behaviors. This allows us to have a better understanding of where our head is at, where our energy is flowing and what may be stealing our peace.
- Reconcile with your thoughts, and while doing so approach with honesty.
- Ask yourself if this is a thought that needs your attention. Dose it bring your peace? is it bringing you stress? If so, then ask yourself why?
- Continue to ask these questions, as we will have a clearer answer to each question during a relaxed phase. Be aware to not overly analyze or stress over the why’s. if the answers do not simply come, close the door to this thought and become refocused on your breathing.
- You can simply repeat this observation as other thoughts may arise. You will find yourself feeling peace from the answers, or peace from the detachment of those which we do not know.
Listen to your voice
As you have coached yourself though the breathing phase and through thought observation, it is now time to meet the voice that has done all the hard work.
- This once again is not a practice of self-judgment. It is a way to understanding the voice that guides you.
- Reflect on your experience during the breathing and though observations exercises. During the times when breathing was difficult to master- was the voice that was guiding you hostile? was it patient? did it tell you to give up on the task, or to keep trying ?
- The way you speak to yourself is the basis of all our decisions. By understanding what guides, you can adapt a better sense of self. If you have found your voice to be a challenge to your relaxation, use this as insight to practice more self-positive talk. If you have made it through these first 3 exercises it is time to take pride in your voice.
It is often we underappreciate all which we have and have not. It is also very likely that we under appreciate ourselves.
- Take appreciation in your efforts in the exercise of mindfulness. If your feeling unsure of where to begin, apricate your desire to reclaim your peace.
- Take appreciation in your power.
- Take appreciation for all of the good things in your life, starting as small as the air you breath.
- Feel the goodness that comes from appreciation. When we sit with positive feelings our energy flows into a positive trance. With this we are more likely to focus on the important things in life that feed our existence.
Once you have followed these exercises you may open your eyes.
By incorporating these mindful exercises you allow yourself to break free from the imprisonment of stress, self-limitations, and fear. By practicing mindfulness, you will find an increase of positivity, compassion, and appreciation; all which are the foundational combats in the hectivity of life.