The root of all stress and anxiety is NOT your current circumstances or what other people are doing to you. The root of all stress and anxiety is in your thoughts – the thoughts you have about those circumstances and people.
For years, I’ve used meditation and other practices to separate myself from my thoughts, to shift my nervous system, and re-wire my neural patterns. This approach has worked well, but requires continual daily practice.
Recently, I completed a six-week course that greatly boosted my ability to quickly shift from feeling triggered to being able to feel grounded, clear-headed, and resourceful. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a selection of the practices I have learned and also let you know how you can also take this same six-week course at no cost.
2 Minute “Reps” for Anxiety & Distraction*
Please sit comfortably with your spine straight and relaxed. Your head straight, your chest open, your feet flat on the floor. After you’ve read over this basic practice, set a timer for 2 minutes and follow these steps again with your eyes closed.
Take your right hand and place it on your heart and notice your heart beat. Your heart beat sensation might be very subtle, so you might need to move your hand around a little, or press a little harder to feel your heart beat through your hand.
Continue to notice your heartbeat with your hand. As thoughts come or as sounds in your environment distract you, gently let them go and re-focus on your heartbeat and your hand. Continue to breathe two or three full rounds of breath and feel your heartbeat with your hand.
Next put your right hand on your stomach and notice the gentle rising and falling of your stomach with each breath. Continue to breathe and feel your stomach moving with each breath. As thoughts come or as sounds in your environment distract you, gently let them go and re-focus on your stomach and your hand. Continue to breathe two or three full rounds of breath and feel your stomach rising and falling with your hand.
Now do some reps with your sense of touch. Rub the tip of the first finger of your right hand gently together with the tip of the thumb of your right hand, gently sliding the tips back and forth across one another with just enough tension that you can feel the fingertip ridges on each fingers. Explore the sensations with the full focus of your mind as the finger and thumb gently move over one another.
Breathe and feel the sensations of the finger and thumb tips. As thoughts come or as sounds in your environment distract you, gently let them go and re-focus on your finger and thumb tips. Continue to breathe two or three full rounds of breath with this focus on the tactile sensations in your hand.
Once you have completed two to three breaths with focus on your heartbeat, then two to three breaths with focus on your stomach and breath rising and falling, then two to three breaths with focus on the tactile sensations between your first finger and thumb, notice any changes in the quality of your physical being and your mental state, and open your eyes.
Take a final deep breath and resume your normal activity.
Look for next Tuesday’s e-mail in which I share a practice to reduce tension and invite relaxation, so you can buld your resilience against the war that your negative thoughts wage against you.