A Process for Feeling Peace in Times of Uncertainty
Perhaps you’ve noticed this for yourself as of late…
When I’m feeling tired and trying to go to sleep I notice anxious thoughts wanting to interrupt my rest … almost like they are shouting out, “look at me”, “pay attention to this problem…”, and so on … when this happens I know that my only job is to notice what’s happening and then let the thoughts go… as fast as possible before they take over my emotional well-being.
I’ve learned that tiredness is not a good state for me because it allows fearful thoughts to come to the surface where they have the opportunity to take over. Which is why getting plenty of exercise and sleep right now are so meaningful and important for both my mental and physical health.
Even when I’m not as tired it helps me to remember that neither ruminating (about the past) nor projecting (about the future) are going to help me feel better.
The reason I appreciate meditation so much, especially when confronted with stressful situations, is the fact that it has the power to calm down your nervous system very quickly.
While researching my book, I was looking for science to back up the things I’d learned through my daily mindfulness practice combined with alternative metaphysical practices I’ve been testing more recently.
What I discovered is that when breath work is added to your meditation practice, reactivity lessens even more than when you meditate without it (see scientific reference at bottom of this email).
Here’s an excerpt from my book, The Mindful Millionaire about how you can help yourself by adding breath work to your daily mindfulness practice…
“If this is your first time using breath work, it is helpful to note that focused and consciously connected breathing helps you to uncover, isolate and identify those areas in your consciousness that are unresolved so that you can release them. The breathing practices that you will be learning here are meant to help you relax and use rhythmical breathing to cleanse the body and the mind. When a person breathes normally, fully and freely, possibly for the first time, consciously breathing without fear, it automatically produces many beneficial changes in the body, mind and feeling sense. Repetitive and rhythmical breathing empties the negative mental energies out of your body and enables you to incorporate life energy into your body instead. Much of the pain and fear we are holding onto is a result of clinging onto negative thoughts. By engaging in the release of these energies through breath work, these negativities can be released without having to re-experience any past difficulty. Similar to when a person takes the garbage out, they do not feel the need to examine all the trash before putting it into the garbage bin, in this case, when you are engage in breath work, you can carry your trash out and let it go swiftly without overthinking it.
If you are looking for ways to feel peace in times of uncertainty, feel better and more easily fall asleep, I suggest you add breath work to your daily practice. How I do it is that I add breath work at the beginning when I am first getting comfortable and settled.
Close your eyes or keep them open slightly and begin breathing in and out. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. Noticing that your breath may want to become deeper as you do this for a few minutes. Trust what feels good and continue to breathe in and out.
Your breathing becomes an automatic process where you are breathing in and out without pausing….you can breathe in and out through your nostrils or your mouth.
In the beginning, all that matters is that you are focusing on your breath and you keep breathing without hyperventilating or causing a sense of stress. Noticing how you feel and, nudging yourself to go a little bit outside of your comfort zone to see what happens. Not so much that you feel afraid but enough to notice a sense of clearing, cleansing and releasing.
As your breathing slows down and becomes more natural, you can take time to notice how you feel and then enter into your normal mindfulness practice from a new state of calm awareness which has been aided by your breath work.
I hope this practice helps you as much as it has helped me to find peace despite the uncertainty that surround us right now.
(Article cited above: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep27533)
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