We can easily say we live in a world where distractions are the norm. There seems to always be background noise outside and within ourselves. There are so many things competing for our attention, there are things to remember, things to do, deadlines, and then, you have to sustain yourself with food and water and some exercise if you are lucky.
Well, here I am going to give you 5 quick steps towards peace of mind you can take right now.
Breathe Deeply – This sounds trite but it is the best advice I have ever received. When we go into our nervous fight-or-flight response, our breathing becomes quick and shallow. This cuts off oxygen to the brain and makes us even more nervous. Take three slow deep belly breaths. Then move on to the next step.
Create Space Between Your Thoughts – In this moment when you are taking the deep breaths, put your attention on the breaths. How does it feel through your nostrils and in your lungs? Feel the sensation of your abdomen expanding and retracting. This is creating space between your thoughts. Giving pause to that run away train that also works to continue to trigger the stress response. The more space you have between your thoughts, the stronger your inner voice is, and that is the voice that counts.
Look at the Horizon – When you are outside or even at a window, look far off into the distance. We are trained to focus on things close to us, like all of our screens. I have even noticed on walks I was looking only at what was closest to me, neglecting the trees, flowers, and the distance. Looking off into the distance is not only really good for your vision, but helps you relax and stop focusing all the time. It also plays well into looking at the bigger picture, literally and figuratively.
Close Your Eyes – Of course don’t do this while driving, but closing your eyes shuts off a whole bunch of sensory stimuli and your brain can take a break. It would be ideal to close your eyes and do the deep breathes along with creating the space between your thoughts. You’d almost be meditating. 🙂
Dwell in Possibility – Now this is a purely cerebral one, but it will help to trigger healthier mental habits. You will find that when you are on a downward spiral of thought, the what if’s take you to your worst case scenario and your brain makes your body react as if it has already happened. Trigger the opposite, when you feel yourself going towards that dark place, get yourself in an upward spiral of what if’s. What if I get that really cool job, or what if that meeting turns out to be a success or what if I get an A on that paper, or what if everything turns out OK and I didn’t even have to worry to make it happen. 🙂
Okay folks, you are now armed with some weapons of peace. Now go out there (and in there) and make it happen. Or sit at your desk and make it happen. Tell me how they made feel below.