I am always on the lookout for simple and practical strategies for regaining internal balance during the times when I am feeling overwhelmed, afraid, and generally stressed. Our thoughts make up our experience of the world – moment to moment – and being aware of them is important. A wonderful tool we can use to expedite the process of internal growth and balance is the practice of Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a way to manage our attention – attending to our mind, body, heart, and spirit. It involves a self-reflection on core values and feelings, and helps us reconnect with ourselves and the world.
Having a self-reflective practice we can use on a daily basis, especially in those moments when our stress is high, challenging emotions run strong, and our internal negative voice is gaining ground, is a powerful way to build resliency. This 4-step mindfulnelness practice helps us be present in the moment and connect with all parts of ourselves. It only takes two minutes!
- Show up for yourself by turning inward. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and turn your attention inside your body. Breath deeply from your center or “core.” Bring your attention to each part of your body and then move your attention to your heart – feel compassion for yourself and others around you.
- Pay attention to what is going on within your mind and body by naming it. What is the emotion behind the thought?
- Tell the truth. If the emotion is fear, embrace it. Be honest with yourself about what is behind your emotion. If it is fear, for instance, our need is for safety. Ask yourself, what threat am I committed to neutralizing? If it is anger, ask yourself what right am I committed to asserting? Your answer will provide some strategies to meet your important needs for this moment.
- Release any attachment to the outcome. It is through release that we can get to the other side of the challenge. Know that your emotion has served an important purpose. Thank it and bid it farewell for now. When this is done with intention, it works surpirsingly well.
The most frequent reason I let myself off the hook on these kinds of practices is lack of time, when I’m running back-to-back with meetings, projects and other commitments. But we can take a minute or two to do this. Don’t we all go to the bathroom during the day? Use this time to self-reflect. This mindfulness-oriented practice can help you take your power back, courageously face barriers, and increase your resilency muscles.
What are your favorite practices to build your resiliency?