Photo: Peter Kurdulija
Is your mind in a spin? Do you feel stressed? Here are three ways to calm your mind in an instant.
- The deep breath.
Take a deep breath. Fill your belly and your chest as your inhale deeply. Then release the breath, letting it flow out naturally. Notice how your mind changes when you do this. The deep breath can help you in difficult situations. For example, if you feel a surge of anger and are just about to lash out, taking a deep breath allows you to retain control of yourself. Use the deep breath often during the day. It is especially useful when you are feeling uptight or angry: it can release you from the grip of strong emotions. When you take a deep breath, you regain an overview over what is happening. It’s as if you are call forth your innate power of wisdom.
- The sigh
Another technique of instant calmness is the sigh. Draw the air in rapidly through your nose or mouth and expel it with a whoosh. Try it and notice what happens. The sigh is a release technique. Use it to let go of pent-up worries or to untangle the mind. For example, if you are at work and are trying to hold too many thoughts in your mind, simply stop what you are doing for a moment and sigh.
- The slow release
Inhale through your nose with energy and exhale through your mouth very slowly while counting to ten. As you breathe out, let your shoulders drop. This is a very powerful way to calm the mind and relax tension in the body. Use it if your mind is very scattered. For example, if you are meditating and find that your mind is running wild, take three slow release breaths to settle your mind.
Experiment with one-breath calmness techniques. You may find that one of the three works particularly well for you, or that each one works best in particular circumstances. If you work at a computer a lot of the time, try installing a break reminder program. You can set it up so that a pop-up reminds you of taking mini-breaks. Try and use it to take a calming breath each time.