It’s easy to get caught up in feeling powerless. All it takes is dwelling on something in your life that is not going your way. Even if things are going pretty smoothly in your life right now, you might be thrown off kilter by looking at the events that the media presents us with and the realities of the senseless acts of violence in the world around us, or media coverage of political campaigns. Your mindfulness practice can help you regain a sense of safety and control over your life. Taking a break from dwelling on the problems in your world, and the world at large will help you feel more in control. Here’s how it works:
1. Breathe, and reset your nervous system – Every time you take time out – even just 3 minutes of focusing on your breath, you are resetting your nervous system – moving away from the fight or flight response which often makes us act in unskillful ways, and moving closer to the rest and digest response that helps us view personal and world situations with more clarity and calm. Click here to read more about mindfulness basics.
2. keep coming back to the breath – Your mind will naturally want to wander. Old habits die hard. You might find yourself going back to your favorite obsession or fear. Simply bring your attention back to your breath, as if you were kindly trying to get the attention of an unruly puppy.
3. Focus on the higher ground – For every “bad guy” out there, we can find at least two brave warriors. If the recent events have got you worried, stop watching the news for a while. Or switch up your newsfeed with some positive news, like these heroic teens.
4. After focusing on higher ground, come back to the breath again – after looking around for what is going right in the world, come back to your breath for a few more minutes. This mindfulness exercise will help you to regain a sense of safety and calm.
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We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!