At it’s best our mind is masterful, focused, creative and empathic. When it’s not as it’s best our mind can drift, overthink, get caught in thought loops that create so much anxiety and stress.
The real snag is that quite often the mind itself can not think it’s way out. This is where the mind needs training. Meditation is both a training tool for the mind and a life practice that expands our experience of life. There are so many ways to meditate whether seated or in movement. Like any training, it takes time and patience to develop fully but even a one time use can have very good short term benefits to reacts… Here some tips to calm your busy mind through mindful activity
1. Find deeper breaths during your day.
Science shows that the more oxygen in the body and brain allows them both to self regulate faster. Quick practice: Breath in as far as you can go up to the chest. Then hold your breath counting 1-2-3. Now release air as slowly as you can.
2. Meditate in the morning first thing.
Your first thoughts are likely to define the rest of your day. The brain works that way. Try our morning meditation which infuses energising, serotonin enhancing sounds. Go to the OPO at Home section www.opo.world
3. In the morning write down 5 things or people you are grateful for.
It might sound kind of fluffy but there is hard neuroscience around practising gratitude in daily life. Gratitude also has the capacity to increase important neurochemicals. When thinking shifts from negative to positive, there is a surging of feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.
4. Put on your favourite track and dance it out.
Not just a shuffle kind of dance but look to move all your body parts, shake your body, release your head. The fastest way to still the mind is to move the body. The more fun it is the more you will move. Increasing heart rate, flexibility, serotonin…dance is one of the ultimate healing salves of our time. Just make sure you focus on it as FUN first but add in some attention to breath and ‘ why’ you are dancing (to shake off stress, to have some fun, to connect to yourself) to make it really impactful.
5. Find ways to live life in what I term ‘relaxed action’.
The more you relax, the more your brain and body operate at their best. You become clearer, more creative and more engaged which surely is how we would like to live and work every day. A quick tip: Make sure to have 5 minutes every hour to fully relax and ‘un-focus’ your brain. This can be anything where you’re not thinking about the future. A cup of your favourite tea, a glass of wine or daydreaming in your favourite chair. The present state is our ultimate state of living and meditation is the route to get there.
Chris has been teaching meditation for 15 years and believes in living in what he calls ‘relaxed action’ – A way of being and doing in the world, because the more we can relax our system the more able we are to complete the things that matter. He has created a body of meditation work based on his mantra ‘Be Still, See Clear, Go Create’ a way of seeing meditation as a base for a vibrant, connected and creative life. He is just about to launch his new app OPO.
CALM YOUR INNER VOICE
Explore the connection of the breath, body and brain with Chris Connors. In this short 45-minute session you will learn how to self regulate and calm the inner (anxious) voice. 6.30pm, Thursday 7th May, £8.