A lot of us are struggling right now to deal with all the “what if” thoughts that are circling through our brains.
I want to share a simple practice for interrupting the rumination and getting back into the present moment. I call it 5 steps to a calm mind.
- To begin, find something in your environment that is pleasant to look at it. Gaze at it with your full attention.
- Now bring in your sense of hearing, listen to the sounds all around you while keeping your sight focused on the pleasant object. You can also try listening deeper not just to the sounds but to the silence in which the sounds are taking place.
- It is time to add in the sense of touch. Continue to gaze and listen attentively and at the same time locate a spot on your body that feels comfortable. It may just be one part of you like your big toe. While still observing beauty and listening to silence, allow yourself to fully experience the sensation of comfort in your body.
- Take a slow deep breath. Notice what you smell. As you take in the scents around you, continue to gaze, listen, and feel into the comfortable sensation in your body.
- Finally, weave in your sense of taste. What do you taste right now? Bring this fifth sensation into your consciousness along with sight, sound, touch, and smell.
Your mind will fill with these sensations and a sense of calm will emerge. Breathe in, and stay connected to these sensations for a few more moments.
This practice comes from author and coach Martha Beck’s book, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World (p.17).
This is one of the most effective ways I have found to calm my mind. I put my eyes into soft focus by activating my peripheral vision to the left and right. Then I turn my senses to a comfortable place on my body, listen to the sounds around me and the silence behind the sounds. When my thoughts start to get noisy and busy again I just soften my gaze again, sink back into the comfortable spot on my body, activate my gaze, listening, taste and return to quiet.
It is okay when your thoughts intrude. Just notice your thoughts and then let them go.
To start, give yourself a minute or two of this practice and enjoy the moment of rest and calm.