I was talking to some students recently about how you can work with mindfulness techniques to let go of stresses and icky emotions in under a minute. It’s funny how people rarely believe such a claim – until they have tried it. Of course, it takes practice to get the most out of it – just as with any skill – but this mindfulness exercise is one you won’t want to miss. Is it time for you to PAUSE today?
Mindfulness meditation is a brilliant way of coming back to the ‘present moment’, to what’s ‘real’, leaving behind the stories and drama of the Monkey Mind.
If you’re feeling stressed or there’s a powerful emotion running for you, you can use this technique as a kind of ‘First Aid’, to help you get back to a sense of equilibrium – then it’s much easier to see solutions.
Here’s a summary:
Here’s the detail:
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|Press the ‘Pause’ button & breathe
Visualise pressing ‘pause’.
Then take 3 deep mindful breaths, breathing in from your belly to your chest, then breathing out with a releasing ‘ahhh’ sound.
|Accept where you’re at.
Become aware of what’s ‘real’ – rather than the story your mind was telling you. What’s physically ‘here’ for you, in this moment? What is happening in your body? With your emotions? With your thoughts? Accept all of this -there’s no need to change it. Let go and relax into accepting.
|Understand – a kind of deep knowing – that this too will pass.
Nothing lasts forever. Whatever is ‘real’ for you right now will pass, in time. You may need to take inspired action, but it will pass. The pain is amplified by the stories we tell ourselves about the situation. The stories aren’t real. They’re just stories (even if they’re good’uns!). Let go of the story and allow your deep understanding – your inner wisdom – to wash through the situation.
|Smile – even if just a gentle half-smile.
Smiling, even if you’re not feeling like it, releases endorphins (or little dolphins, as my friend’s son used to say!) into your bloodstream, giving you a very natural high. After just a few seconds of smiling, those little hormones start to trigger chemical reactions that trigger happier emotions, also reducing your stress levels. It doesn’t matter if you’re faking it, smiling quickly shifts your emotions, mind and body to a better space. Need encouragement: here’s an article with a little experiement you can use to prove to yourself why it’s so important to choose to smile, when things get tough.
|Whatever is going on in your life, allow yourself to enjoy this moment.
Right here, right now, allow yourself even just a few seconds to enjoy this moment. Let go and relax into it, knowing that this space is waiting here for you, 24/7, whenever you need it.
There you have it! One of my favourite 60 second mindfulness de-stressing techniques.
Want to try it out? You don’t have to wait for a stressed or grumpy mood to enjoy it!
I’d love to hear how you get on with it – via the comments box. And, if it helps you, perhaps you’d like to share it with your friends?
If you’d like to go deeper and discover how just 10 minutes a day could change your life, it’s worth joining in with our 28 Day Meditation Challenge online course.