Do you find it impossible to pause when angry? As though a fire is raging in your mind that you can’t extinguish. You try to take a calming breath, but your adrenaline won’t let you slow down.
When you lay in bed, do your thoughts run rampant? Like you are rapidly flipping through channels on a remote control and a new program is broadcast in your head every few seconds.
Maybe it’s not the first instinct, but a meditation practice can help with both.
A recent issue of Yoga Journal reveals that during the first few minutes of meditation, the brain will jump from one thought to the next. But after focusing attention, thoughts become more rational and over time, empathy develops.
It’s very similar to many routines or habits we try to develop. For example, when starting a new workout routine, the body needs time to adjust so muscles can adapt to being challenged and endurance can gradually improve. Or take learning new skills such as playing a guitar. Choppy notes and uneven chords will transition to a smooth rhythm with practice.
Here’s a simple plan to pause when angry or overwhelmed by thoughts:
BE IN YOUR BODY AND LISTEN to the following…
- Feet – feel into the ball mounds, big toe and pinky toe of both feet
- Breath body – feel into your lungs, breath, heart beating… all of this life-force energy orchestrating movement
- Mind – notice incoming date from your five senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight); notice the speed of your reflexive mental chatter without adding to the internal conversation
- Intellect – notice the part of you witnessing this; instead your view IN a traffic jam, view the traffic as if you were gazing out the window from a building above
- Notice that in the witnessing, there is stillness and peacefulness. And this peacefulness is a part of this moment in time, sitting next to whatever was distressing.
- Value this part of peacefulness as more essential.
Remember, when you are present, you experience the safety and groundedness of life all around you. Be aware of this today.