A first step in a fresh approach to bring a sense of calm into your every day is transforming reality and your relationship to it. Just as I need to delete my cell phone’s voicemails and my computer’s emails, my brain needs to download some space. Disconnecting myself through meditation and breathing, spending this time in silence reconnects me to another part of me. When I visit this quiet space regularly, I make room in myself to serve others better.
Abdominal breathing This is the quickest single thing you can do to relax Abdominal breathing is the quickest, single thing you can do to relax your body and therefore your mind. I use it constantly in my private practice of teaching others how to relax.
Bring your attention to your breath. Follow your breath, and allow your mind to be the observer, watching your breath coming in and out. Place your hand on your abdomen with your thumb on your navel, and let your other four fingers fan below. Feel your breath in your abdomen, and notice how your abdomen is gently rising and falling in rhythm with your breathing. As you breathe in, your abdomen rises. As you breathe out, your ab¬domen falls. This takes some concentration. It becomes easier with practice. Focus on your natural rhythm, smooth and effortless, breathing in and out. Let your breath soothe you, taking you to a place of comfort; the thoughts of the day disappear.
Add counting Adding counting is another option when practicing abdominal breathing. It allows you to occupy both sides of the brain, right and left hemispheres. In doing this, it keeps you complete¬ly focused on your breathing. Start with the number nine and count each inha-lation and exhalation as one cycle or round. Count backwards to zero. As you progress, you can in¬crease the number. If your mind wanders off, gently bring it back and start over with your counting.
Want Peace? Eknath Easwaren talks about dwelling on oneself as the root cause of most personal problems. He says, the more preoccupied we become with our private fears, resentments, memories and cravings, the more power they have over our attention. When we sit down to meditate, we cannot get our mind off of ourselves. With practice, however we can learn to pay more and more attention to the needs of others—and this carries over directly into meditation. The source is within us. My judgment or mood is projected onto someone else and it reflects what I am feeling, bouncing back to me. The relationship is simple: If you want to feel relaxed and peaceful you need to create a relaxed and peaceful feeling.
Do you take time each day to relax and let go in a healthy way? Can you notice when you are getting to the end of your rope? Just fifteen minutes a day can pay back big dividends to a more peaceful life.
Try out my free weekly fifteen minute guided relaxation at elizabethirvine.com
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