Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Simple Way to a Calm Mind

There are countless ways to calm the mind. One challenge with many methods relates to the need to remove yourself mentally and physically from your day-to-day activities and sit quietly as you focus on a sound, an object, or your thoughts. 

What if there is an alternative to sitting for extended periods of time? Can you easily incorporate a simple mindful meditation practice into daily activities that take just one or two minutes and still provide hours of benefits? The good news is you can do that easily.

The Simple Steps

Begin by choosing an activity you normally do with little conscious attention. Activities such as brushing your teeth, shaving, walking, or eating all are perfect candidates. 

Before beginning your activity, stop for a moment and take two comfortable breaths. Feel the air enter the nostrils and attend to any physical sensations in your body. Notice if you're breathing into your upper chest, the middle chest, or deep from the diaphragm.  Change nothing; simply notice.

Turn your attention toward the activity. If, for example, you're brushing your teeth, slow down and pick up the toothbrush. Feel the sensations in your hand as you pick it up. Look at the toothbrush; really look at it and notice any writing, the color, the bristles, and it's overall shape. Just notice the individual parts of the toothbrush and then open your focus and notice the whole toothbrush as you're holding it.

Turn your awareness to the tube of toothpaste. Look at the tube with fresh eyes. Notice any writing, colors, the size, and how it feels in your hand. Notice it's weight and shape. Slowly unscrew the cap and squeeze toothpaste onto the toothbrush. Do this slowly and watch without judgment. 

As you slowly bring the toothbrush to your mouth, notice the physical sensations as you open your mouth. Where do you begin brushing? Notice without judgment. 

Give your attention to the physical sensations of brushing. Notice any sensations in your face, neck, chest, back, hands, arms, and shoulders. Simply notice.

When you are done, watch the water rinse off the toothbrush, replace the toothbrush to it's normal resting place, and replace the cap onto the toothpaste.

Stand up straight, take two more comfortable breaths, and scan your body. Notice your sense of calmness, presence, and peace. Take a final comfortable breath and go about your day.

Two Minutes of Mindful Attention Can Bring Hours of Benefits

The one to two minutes you dedicated to mindfully attending to brushing your teeth will result in biochemical, mental, and emotional benefits that can last for hours. 

You can throughout your day repeat this same mind-calming process with other activities that are normally on autopilot.

Congratulations! You are now a mindfulness meditation practitioner. 

With love and blessings,

Steve Carter

Stress Solutions, LLC

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