I have a 20-25 minute commute to work each day. I use that time to listen to CDs that help me with stress and anxiety. This practice has truly has helped me be more comfortable at work.
Several years ago, my sister gave me a CD on mindfulness meditation by Pema Chodron. I think it was around the time I started this blog.
Back then when I listened to it, I admit it didn’t really do anything for me. I couldn’t really relate to it much. Sometimes I think you have to be in the right space to receive a message or to learn a new practice or technique for relieving stress and anxiety.
Recently I have been really keeping up with my discipline of anxiety self help and self improvement in general on my daily commute. Since I have to be in the car for that amount of time anyways I try to put the time to good use.
And I’m always trying to find ways to feel better and more calm and accepting of life and myself. So when I got tired of listening to the same Cds over and over I remembered that I had this one, and maybe I could give it a try a second time.
The name of the CD is When Things Fall Apart. And as I said the author is an ordained Buddhist Monk named Pema Chodron.
She teaches a lot in the CD but I wanted to touch on is the mindfulness meditation and share about it here, since it’s been quite helpful and maybe you can try it too. It really helps with relieving anxiety and puts you in a wonderful calm state.
Here is an article I found on the subject from Harvard University on how Mindfulness Meditation may ease anxiety and mental stress: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967
The human mind is forever busy thinking and creating stories about the past and the future. This is the root cause of all human suffering. As a recovering anxious person, I Know I live a lot in my head. It’s something I wish I didn’t do, but I never knew there was a way NOT to.
Practicing mindfulness really really helps with this 😉
Basically to practice mindfulness, you become aware of this stream of thought. This incessant chatter if you notice it is usually negative. It doesn’t feel good really. So you become still and just notice that you’re thinking and going off in your head. You notice it and simply label it “Thinking.” You don’t judge it or indulge in what the thoughts are saying. You just label it “Thinking.”
At the same time you put light attention on each exhale (or out breath). Exhaling is the state when the body is most relaxed. So you just label any thoughts that pop into your head as Thinking and ground yourself again and again by returning gentle attention to your exhale.
Sounds simple right? Well it is. Apparently if you do this for just a few minutes a day it is beneficial.
It goes something like this:
Be still… focus on the out-breath lightly… thoughts happen…ok there they go “Thinking”…. out-breath… out-breath…. wow this feels nice… mind starts up again… ok that’s just “Thinking” I’m not listening in…. out-breath… out-breath.. out-breath… “Thinking”… out-breath… out-breath… wow this is nice! oops that’s “Thinking”… out-breath… etc…
Since I’m trying to work on my over-thinking, I’ve been doing this mindfulness exercise a lot over the past week. At first I couldn’t do it much as my thinking would just take over again. But with practice, it gets easier. I get to enjoy these wonderful little breaks from my negative thoughts. I’ve been practicing this every day in the morning, in the car, at work, and before bed. It feels very nice!
It’s such a relief to know you can return to the present moment at any time, where there is generally no stress. Living in the past or the future is what gives people all their angst. And I am definitely on a mission of trying to rid myself of angst 🙂
Please give yourself 5 minutes today and try this mindfulness meditation for stress and anxiety. I’d love to hear if you can get out of your negative thinking and get some respite.
I wish you peace,
If you would like to learn another surprisingly simple but extremely helpful method to stop panic attacks in their tracks, please give 60 Second Panic Solution review a read.
image source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/442337994622066151/