Today in the UK we are experiencing beautiful sunny weather, it is warm and everything is delightful. This follows many weeks of heavy rain and a feeling that summer would never come. It is amazing how the weather impacts on our mood particularly for those of us who live in places with changeable weather patterns.
Sitting here looking out at the view of the forest reminds me that one of the best ways of developing our well-being and so strengthening our resilience is to connect with nature. Take a moment to stop and to breathe.
In our busy lives we seldom take time out to stop and be quiet however this is one of the simplest ways to re-balance our system and build “stress hardiness” as Brooks and Goldstein describe it. There are many ways to do this ranging from the simple practice of sitting with oneself through to ritualistic techniques of meditation.
There is a great deal of research supporting the idea that practices such as meditation have a beneficial impact on our well-being. As with most simple ideas however many of us end up stressed where ten minutes a day could make all the difference.
Why do we avoid the simple solutions?
The most common excuse I hear is lack of time and yet we will find time for all kinds of pointless activities. On one level I believe avoidance of quiet practice can stem from a lack of self value and the feeling that taking time for oneself is self indulgent or selfish.
My argument with that is simple. If we are stressed we are less pleasant to be around. By taking care of ourselves we are more open and available to others. We are calmer and more creative and most important of all we are strengthening our resilience.
So here is my challenge for you today, take out some time to sit and be. If you know a meditation technique or self-hypnosis do that. If not follow this simple practice.
Sit somewhere quiet where you will be uninterrupted. Choose somewhere that feels comfortable and pleasant for you. Start by closing your eyes and following your breathing. Notice the in and the out breath, allowing for a natural comfortable pattern and rhythm of breathing.
If you have distracting thoughts, notice them, accept them and then return your attention to your breathing once more. Follow this cycle for ten minutes and notice how you feel afterwards.
There are many books on meditation, self-hypnosis and mindfulness so you might want to do some research to find an approach that works for you.
Alternatively you could join me in October for hypnotherapy training, six days of relaxation and resilience boosting. Follow the link below for more information.