These little routines are designed to calm your mind and break away from negative thought patterns that pin your mood and confidence to the floor. Too often we approach everything with a judgemental, is this okay or not approach, which can generate our defence mechanisms into action and increase stressful and negative thoughts. Worse still we miss a chance to learn something new or change a negative experience into something positive because we judge only by what we know not what we could know!
Easily bring these exercises into your day without turning yourself upside down or inside out!
Print them off, cut them out to remind you, put them in your purse or wallet and start dealing with your stress and downer moods. As soon as you start you put your mind in another, better place, easy and simple, no twisting needed to move away from the stress and those downer moods.
1. Focus on your surroundings. As you walk feel your feet make contact with the floor, look around notice your surroundings, and notice the sounds around you and the smells. Whenever you remember focus on the task in hand, making a cup of coffee, feel the textures of the cup, notice how the coffee piles on the spoon, notice the smell; whatever you choose, you need to lose yourself in the experience. If you find negative thoughts leaking in just let them pass using exercise 2.
2. Whenever you experience unhelpful thoughts practise letting them go. It is important not to push down those negative feelings and this simple exercise shows you how to acknowledge whilst not giving into those negative thoughts. Imagine standing on a train station platform. As a train passes, imagine each carriage is a thought. The thoughts are real and you acknowledge them, but in doing so you allow them to pass, just like the train the thoughts have come into the station of your mind, see them written on a train carriage and allow them to move on out of your mind.
3. Take a moment and focus on your hand. Look at your hand as if you are seeing it for the first time. Just examine it with interest and curiosity so that you would be able to recognise it again. Look at all the lines and folds in the skin, the shape of the nails, avoid judging just look with curiosity. Accept it as a perfect hand, repeat as you look this is my hand, a perfect hand for me. Now close your eyes and visualise your hand. Open your eyes and come back into the now.
Extracted from my forthcoming book How to ‘Mind the Gap’ between Stress and Well-being by Fiona M Chapman
Copyright Fiona Chapman at the Chapwell Method TM 2017