Even for those who live a mindful lifestyle, it's normal to feel stressed in certain situations. And with mindfulness, you’ll notice it immediately. But, when you're stressed, you can’t always sit down for a formal practice, so knowing how to regroup your energy quickly in a stressful situation is super helpful.
When you're stressed out and need a quick dose of peace, these practices get your energy out of your impulsive and reactive lower brain and into your higher brain where conscious choices are made. They can be done with your eyes open or closed, and no one even has to know you’re doing them!
Especially good for "fighters" in the heat of the moment.
- If possible, excuse yourself and take a walk through the halls or outside
- As you walk, breathe into the belly through your nose
- Inhaling for 4 counts
- Exhaling for 6 counts
5 Senses Countdown
Especially good for "flighters" who tend to flee or numb themselves from difficult emotions and stressful situations.
- Feel your feet on the ground. Take a breath and then notice…
- 5 things you see. Silently name them.
- Close your eyes and notice 4 things you hear
- Then 3 things you feel or touch
- Then 2 things you smell
- Then 1 thing you taste
- Take another breath and notice how your body feels now
⚡️ Guru Tip: When you're in your body, you're in the here and now. Do you leave yourself during stressful situations and difficult emotions? Feeling what you feel while you're feeling it is a skill you can practice and is essential to self-care. Afterall... if you leave yourself, who's going to be there to take care of you?
Close your eyes:
You can usually close your eyes without being noticed, even if just for half a minute. Try it now. The outside world takes a backseat while you go within. You almost instantly regain a sense of balance and relaxation.
Deepen your breath:
You can find inner peace with your eyes open, too. Focus your attention on your breath as you slowly take in a deep breath through your nose, then, let it out slowly through your nose. Pause for two seconds, then repeat. Holding the breath after you exhale helps counteract stress patterns of shallow breathing or holding the breath in. In, out, hold, repeat.
Count your breaths:
Eyes open or closed, silently count your breaths. In, count one; out, count two. Count your breaths all the way to 10. The mind might wander, so simply keep focusing back to your breath and counting.
30-second body scan:
Bring your attention to the sensation felt throughout your body, whether you are sitting or standing, where you are at this moment. With your eyes open or closed, scan your body from the top-down, front and back, relaxing as you go. Relax your forehead, your eyes, your mouth, your tongue, your jaw. Lower your shoulders and soften your belly. Bring your attention to your hands, then your feet. In less than a minute you’ll feel better from the inside out.
Say a prayer or affirmation:
Silently repeat a prayer or an affirmation to shift your focus from a stressful situation to peace. All is well, I’m doing the best I can, or There is peace in this moment, are good examples. You can also choose a single word, like One, Peace, Trust, or Calm. Repeat seven times.
Bring your attention to what you're grateful for at the moment. Mentally make a list of people/places/things/experiences you're grateful for.
I invite you to give some of these practices a try the next time you're in the heat of the moment. Remember - peaceful energy is always available in the here and now. You just need to know how to access it!
Till next time,
Source: MMI Mindful Training Company