The first time I followed an eight week mindfulness stress reduction course my tutor asked me to write down a couple of things I could do to find calmness whenever my mind felt very agitated. Agitated meaning anything from angry and frustrated to worried and fearful! I remember not having any idea of what to write except for wishing to fly away to a place with sea and sun.
Today I have better and more down-to-earth options. See below for what I find works best to change my emotional state and get calm and centred in both body and mind. I think they are pretty universal. Any of these options will help me come back to me. I practise most of them several times a week.
Here they are:
- 2-minute cold shower. There is no doubt this wakes up both body and mind and centres me. Check out my article here for how it works and feels.
- 3-5 minute 3-step breathing space meditation. This is the meditation I use at the start of all my yoga classes. I find it helps to truly arrive in the space I am in, in my body and in this moment. Here is a description of the three stages.
- 10 minutes (= three rounds) of the “Iceman” breath (Wim Hof Method Basic Breathing). Connecting with the breathing this way is surprisingly invigorating. It provides a great feeling of aliveness in the body and always lifts my mood. I let Wim Hof guide me in person with this link.
- 30+ minutes walking in nature. Being in nature brings us back to ourselves. Taking time to listen to the sounds of nature and seeing trees, water, skies and birds provide a great feeling of overall connection. It both grounds and centres me.
- 45+ minutes of yoga practice. Moving, breathing and focusing on yoga postures and movement calm my whole being and energise me too.
When body and mind feel restless and agitated it is easy to forget what helps to get centred. It is therefore a good idea to write down in advance what you know works for you. I hope you feel inspired to prepare your own go-to-list for un-centred moments! It could be something from the list above or anything else, such as going for a run, listening to music, watching fun clips on Youtube, etc. Wishing you well and good luck!