By Gutidentity - Emma Bailey - 21st October 2021
There are many different ways we can relax and calm our mind. Life is all about enjoyment which doesn’t have to be a race. A slow walk is so much easier than a sprint for the finish line. Taking time out to look after ourselves, is self-care and self-love. By doing things to care for ourselves, we are then able to look after those around us when they need us.
Hit the PLAY button
FIND CALM IN THE MOMENT
A simple, accessible way to find calm in the moment is through some sort of breathing work. Meditation is one of these ways to find some sort of peace and quiet in the moment.
Meditation is often given a bad rap because people think it’s complicated or something. The hardest part about it is finding the time and the second hardest part would be to be alone with ourselves which can be confronting.
Finding calm in the moment can come in all sorts of forms. It could mean taking a few breaths. It could mean relaxing on our own somewhere and enjoying the moment. It could mean doing a body scan. It doesn’t matter what type of meditation we do, but it does matter. It helps calm the mind from all the chatter or ‘self-talk’ going on and helps us to better get to know ourselves at the same time.
Once we start a meditation practice of any sort, doing it regularly, helps maintain some sort of balance. This helps make our brain feel more coherent and less ‘chaotic’. It can be wild in there sometimes so doing what we can to center ourselves, supports our brain to focus on the things we need to put our energy into.
SLOW DOWN TO RELAX & FIND CALM
Going at the pace of a snail might be a slight exaggeration but you get my drift. It’s drummed into us from an early age that we must work hard (usually for other people), work incredibly fast, and that being busy is just the norm. I think people are slowly coming to the realization that the so-called ‘busy’ aspect of life, just isn’t worth it now. A simpler, slower-paced life can be more manageable and more enjoyable. Get enjoyment out of the little things in life.
A good way to relax by slowing down is to start to ‘under commit’ to things. We don’t have to go to EVERY outing, get EVERTYHING done in one day, be EVERYONE’s friend etc… While it’s good to have a productive life, burnout isn’t much fun! Nor is prolonged stress! Pick and choose where you place your energy.
To relax a bit more, try slowing down the pace at which you approach things. Being mindful about what we do and how we spend our time can help us develop strategies to find calm. Be mindful of constant scrolling - it can be a time sucker!
Here are some simple ways that can help us be mindful - Hit PLAY
STRETCHING FOR A CALMER MIND
Certain forms of stretching can help us to relax, while some postures can help relieve tension in our muscles. This can support our body to feel more at ease in the current moment. Stretching also allows for us to examine whereabouts in the body our muscles might be tense, causing us to hold on to this tension.
Try these yoga poses to help relieve any built-up tension you might be experiencing. By doing stretching regularly, feeling calmer is possible. I do these in the morning and evening now to help myself wind up, and wind down.
TRY TEA TO UNWIND THE MIND
In the past, I haven't been a fan of tea. That was until recently. After spending a tonne of time creating the 'Tea to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress' video infographic, I decided to give tea a try to help myself relax and to reduce some anxiety I was feeling at the time.
We are all different, with different tastes, so try a variety of tea to find one that suits you and the situation you're in.
BREATHING IS AN UNDERRATED, YET NECESSARY FUNCTION TO CALM THE MIND & BODY
We clearly need to breathe to live but how many of us are really conscious of HOW we breathe? The way we breathe can signal to our body if we are in a fight or flight situation. Shallow breathing from the chest can make our body feel that it is under stress and that it’s time to move – quickly. Slow deep breathing from our stomach (diaphragm) lets our body know that everything is ok.
Learning to come back to our breath in times of stress can help calm the mind because it learns by repetition. It can be trained if we practice it over and over again. Because we can create all kinds of stressful situations in our head out of nothing, it makes sense to use the breath to SNAP us back to reality – AKA the present.
To find calm that will help the whole body relax, check out 4biddenknowledge's 432 Hz Merkaba Meditation. This would have to be my new favorite as a great meditation to start the day.
CALMING MUSIC TO SOOTHE THE MIND & SOUL
Chucking on something heavy and dark when feeling stressed could make a lot of us feel more heightened (unless of course, it works for you). Music is most definitely a personal choice when it comes to relaxation, and we just have to sample different things until we find something that suits us, and our emotional state at the time. Music can dramatically change our emotional being and is a great strategy to quickly change how we feel.
Making different playlists based on different situations or environments is a good way to change how we feel in an instant. Going from feeling frantic to calm IS possible.
Try these for relaxation and wear headphones to get the best effect -
Chilled Classical Covers
Alpha Binaural Beats
Theta Binaural beats
432 Hz frequency music with and without nature sounds and additional music
REMEMBER – music is a personal choice and what might calm me, might not suit you. Do YOU but also be open to trying new things!
CALM THE MIND THROUGH ONE OF THE DISCIPLINES OF YOGA
Yoga is mostly about connecting the mind and body. In today’s society, we have become somewhat disconnected from our body. Yoga can help re-establish this connection.
There are many different types of yoga available. Yoga quietens the mind because we place our focus on the postures or poses (or whatever you want to call them). Yoga is particularly good for those of us with monkey brains e.g. a brain that wants to focus on anything and everything. It’s hard to focus on two things at once especially if we’re trying to get into a ‘shape’.
Yoga brings us into the present moment using our breath and provides the opportunity to focus on the NOW. Not yesterday, not next week, and not next year – only the now! All I can recommend is just trying it without judgement and giving it a go. We don’t need fancy yoga clothing to do it and if we can’t get to a studio, there’s plenty of online yoga videos to try out. Booking into a class and going every day did help ground me – physically and mentally but my circumstances have since changed so I currently practice at home. It's important to do what fits our situation and just go with the flow. Be adaptable. Be flexible. Do YOU.
We are all different so what works for me might not work for you. Getting to know yourself and what you like/don’t like is key. Trying stuff without judgement until something works is also key plus not giving up. Everything is possible when we find strategies that suit our own situation or environment.
Keep going and if you're interested in discovering more ways to calm the mind, relax, or improve your health and well-being, stay tuned as there's more to come, or visit www.gutidentity.com to find out more.
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