Thursday, 29 November 2012

2 Ways To Reduce Stress Right Now

Even if you can’t get away on a holiday right now, here are two things you can do to gain rest and refreshment right in the midst of your everyday activities.

Breathe deep and slow. Most adults in the West breathe shallow and fast. This creates a lot of stress for the body and at its extreme contributes to panic attacks.  Practice deep slow breathing whenever you remember, and especially when you are taking a break of any sort.

Pay attention. Putting your full attention onto whatever you are doing is not only more efficient, it also helps you remain more calm and peaceful.

Many people  rush from place to place seldom taking time to be aware of their surroundings.  Are you constantly thinking about the next thing that needs to happen? The  next place you need to be?  The  things you have forgotten at home?

This produces a massive amount of cumulative stress, and I suspect  contributes more than any other single factor to loss of productivity, illness and inefficiency. Not to mention  depriving you of the joy that is your  natural birthright!

Allowing yourself to be fully aware of where you are, right now, can open an amazing world of richness and refreshment. It opens your eyes to the blessings and abundance that is constantly with you. It naturally produces gratitude, reduces stress,  increases vitality and promotes  relaxation and youthfulness. It also boosts the immune system and enhances creativity.

Being fully present is part of what I call developing a Meditative Mindset.

As you practice being fully present in the Now of your life, you will find

  • Deepening of your inner stillness and peace
  • It’s easier to hear your guidance when your mind is still and quiet
  • You will feel more rested, because you’ll be using less energy on worry and other thinking patterns
  • You will find that life is far richer and more multi-layered than you normally experience.
  • Time will slow down – and you will reduce your aging (this is literally true and has been tested – don’t ask me where, but I read some respectable research about this someplace! If anybody knows where please email me. I have the sort of mind that remembers the big picture but not the details!)
Here are some suggestions for ways to focus on being in the present moment
  1. When working, put your awareness and focus on the surface that is moving in what you are doing.
    a.    E.g. if you are painting, put your awareness where the brush wipes across the surface.
    b.    If at the computer, put it on the place where your fingers touch the keys
    c.    When walking focus on the sole of your foot etc

  2. Choose one sense for the day, especially one you don’t rely on so much – eg smell. Wherever you are take notice of all the different scents there are around. Practice observing them without judgment as much as possible. Try not to label a smell as nasty, or even nice. Notice the subtle changes in information coming into your nose.

Have fun with these – and do let me know how you get on. These are foundational practices and will grow with you, the more you do them. I suggest you practice for 5 minutes at a time and gradually expand the time as your skill level grows.

Much love to you


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