Have you noticed yourself lost in your thoughts today? Come back, and let your tension go.
In Thich Nhat Hanh’s classic book, “The Miracle of Mindfulness,” the author speaks of the mind being like a pond.
On the surface of the pond, there can be many ripples, waves and choppiness. But below the surface, there is a peacefulness, a stillness.
The deeper you go, the more peaceful it becomes.
Each thought is a pebble tossed into the pond, causing ripples, small or large, depending on your ability to come back to the present moment. But luckily, no matter how disturbing the pebble or distracting the ripples, the stillness is still there, waiting to be found.
When we’re really lost in thought, trying hard to figure something out, we can become so engaged that it causes mental tension.
Have you felt this before? Like a knot right in your brain!
As we become less and less aware of the body, this mental tension creates physical tension. Scrunched up shoulders, a scowling face, a clenched jaw or clenched fists are all frequently the result of being sucked into the mental tension trap.
Luckily, there is a way out. And it’s easy.
Try this, right now.
Feel your feet on the ground. Let them relax. Feel the support of the chair beneath you. Surrender to this support. Just let yourself completely relax. Drop the shoulders, let the jaw hang loosely. Now take a slow breath or two, following each in-breath and out-breath very closely.
Repeat this exercise every time you catch yourself lost at sea, bracing for another wave. Surrender to the waves, and they go away.
Calmer seas ahead!
Stress Release Tip
Stressed? Then it’s a great time to check-in and see how you’re doing in this area. What are you biggest stresspoints right now? What are a few things that you can do to decrease your feelings of stress around these? So often we know exactly what we need, and it’s just a matter of taking action. Treat yourself today.
Thich Nhat Hanh also recommends designating at least one day each week as a “Day of Mindfulness”. On this day, you will do everything three times more slowly than normal, beginning with getting out of bed. In the space provided by this practice, we can start to see how, most of the day, we’re rushing from task to task. Tap the brakes and see what happens. You can always pick up the pace again later.
Quote From Adam
“Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being.”
– Donald Curtis
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