Value your needs by slowing down

It is so easy to get caught up in the fast paced moments in life.
Going from one place to the next. Doing one thing to the next.
Sometimes, (insert the metaphor) “running around forgetting that my head is attached to my
body.”

Slowing down may not seem like an option. There may not be an understanding of how to do it.
Thoughts of, “how can I afford to slow down when there is so much to do and there is not
enough time to do it all?”

Slowing down gives the opportunity to tend to your own needs while also creating healthy
momentum through presence. It allows someone to “be there” for others attentively.

It adds quality to the moments of interaction and connection. By slowing down, you also give
yourself time to process and reflect. There is the creation of perspective. In doing so, it
nourishes mental health.

Without taking time to slow down in life, it could lead to anxiety and neglect of personal care.
Then it is a constant feeling of, “I need to do more” because you might feel you are not doing
enough. Not tending to your own needs.

Some easy and effective ways to slow down are:

  • Take a mini break to check in with yourself
  • Feel yourself breathing, bring attention to your breath and control it with deep, slow
    breaths
  • Spend some time in nature
  • Schedule times to put away the cell phone
  • Set priorities and boundaries – commit to them
  • Manage time efficiently through organization and delegation
    Eat slower

There may be resistance to slowing down. It may be something that has just been part of
everyday life for as long as you can remember.

 

The creation of slower-paced moments in life is a choice that rejuvenates the mind and soul.
The creation of calming peace in your day.

 

It simply equates to presence. In presence there is freedom from worry about the future or past doubts.
Time is flexible and can be adjusted in many different ways. The perception of time and it’s
limitations is what makes it rigid and fixed.

When your needs are valued, life can be enjoyed in all it’s moments because you slowed down
to be in them with presence.

Return to wholeness through nature 

Imagine walking through a forest with the trickling flow of water from a stream, overlooking a landscape filled with lush trees and plants.

It can feel so calming, so peaceful.

Being in the presence of nature realigns your energy.

I find it brings me back to my senses.

Just through simple observation of what is seen, concentration on what is heard. Directing my attention to the smells of surrounding plants and vegetation.

There is scientific evidence that suggests a strong connection to nature enhances emotional wellbeing.

Benefits Of Being In Nature

First, the cognitive adjustment in how we think and function is a complimentary benefit. The step of taking a break from electronic screen time and exposure to everyday tasks. Allowing the mind to relax and settle into a peaceful state.

Second, simply taking the initiative to get outside into a space where the senses can be awakened to ascend into a ritual of mindful surrender.

The natural sounds in nature such as birds, wind, etc, have a calming effect throughout the mind and body.

Third, the experience deepens your connection to the natural world and shifts overall mood in the process.

The effects can be noticed with reduced stress, lower blood pressure,  immediately improve concentration and focus, and the release of endorphins which contribute feeling a sense of wellbeing.

Fourth, the experience offers a deeper connection to life. A deeper connection to self.

With that felt connection is the soothing effect it has on mental health.

The ability to relieve anxiety in the moment, to bring calmness in the mind and body.

Nature provides presence with the wonder, possibility, and beauty for the creation of life.

It allows you to surrender to something greater.

An understanding that being alive is enough.

It teaches you about life. You notice the movement from the wind. You see the curiosity in how things grow. Exploration in how these living things adapt and thrive in their environments. There is a powerful possibility in it’s grandeur.

There is an eternal gratitude for nature as the sole supplier to our survival with food, water, shelter, medicine and materials.

It is part of the contributing factors to what brings joy in life.

The benefits of mindful breathing in your day

Instinctively we know how to breathe. It is something we are born to do and is part of everyday life.

Is it something we are conscious of?

The awareness of breath directly impacts many outcomes in regards to overall health.

How we breath is an essential part of regulating stress.

It calms the nervous system. This alleviates the various stress responses that would normally be engaged in survival strategies.

Choices are available that are not manufactured from the reactions of fight or flight response thinking.

Dr. Joe Dispenza, neuroscientist and author, explains clearly how the breath affects the internal functioning in the body;

When we begin to close our eyes and take a couple of slow deep breaths and become aware of it, we’re literally switching nervous systems. 

We switch from that fight or flight nervous system.

As we begin to breathe and we begin to turn on the other nervous system called the parasympathetic nervous system, that nervous system is the nervous system of relaxation.

Your heart rate slows down, your respiratory system slows down, your blood pressure changes. 

All your blood flow goes into your internal organs and into your brain and metabolism, or better said, energy is being rejuvenated and restored and no energy is leaking out to address emergency situations, to address threats.

“By changing patterns of breathing we can change our emotional states, how we think, and how we interact with the world.” 

– Dr. Patricia Gerbarg, Harvard-trained psychiatrist 

Extended Benefits of Mindful Breathing

Overall, the benefits extend to improved focus, increased energy, shifted mood, and effective preparation for quality sleep.

All that is required is becoming aware of your breath. However, being aware of the breath is an action commonly disregarded throughout each day.

“Yoga teachings state that if the mind is moving so are the heart and respiration. 

When we are angry, our breath quickens; when we sleep our breath slows down. 

By consciously slowing down the breath and making it rhythmic so that consciousness is not disturbed by it, we can achieve corresponding tranquility.” 

– Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, psychologist, philosopher, & researcher 

This means that mindful breathing has the ability to support anxiety and calm it’s intensities.

When stress is perceived, the breathing pattern changes. The breath becomes shallow and short while improper muscles are incorporated in the breathing process. The functioning of the body is disrupted and symptoms of anxiety expand. 

Controlled breathing with slow breaths can bring the body back to operating in a non-stress state so it can function effectively. 

Types of breathing techniques

Depending on your curiosity and experience with breathing techniques, here are some types to try:

  • Lengthen the exhale
  • Equal breathing
  • Resonant breathing
  • Alternate nostril breathing
  • Box breathing

 

Practice breathing into a moment of stress

Imagine a moment of anxiety or tension.

Feel into that moment.

What thoughts are you experiencing? What feelings and emotions are you experiencing?

How is this affecting you in the moment? What are you doing? What are you not doing?

Now, imagine yourself taking a deep breath. Inhaling deeply, and then exhaling slowly and controlled.

As you inhale again, slow the breath and focus on the deep control you have of that breath. Before you begin to exhale, pause for 5 seconds and hold that breath.

At the end of that pause, exhale again slowly.

As you repeat the inhaling, pausing and exhaling a few more times, bring awareness to how that moment has changed.

What is different now?

What do you notice now that wasn’t present before?

What new choices opened up in that moment?

Did you see other benefits that accompanied awareness of your breath?

The awareness of the breath brings you back to your inner self.
Access to your inner knowing and acceptance of trust in the moment.

Mindfulness in Life Experiences

To be present in life requires mindfulness.

Mindfulness is being aware, paying attention without attachment by choice.

Choosing to be present in the moment.

Mindfulness is a state of being where body and mind are in the same mental and physical place at the same time.

In that moment, thoughts of past or future don’t exist.

It is so easy to go through daily routines or just “go through the motions.”

Mindfulness would be to step outside that pattern and be aware of the actions, things you are doing throughout the day.

The Benefits of Being Mindful

It can reduce stress by having awareness of thoughts and emotions that are occurring in the moment. There is an opportunity to process them.

Situations are no longer just reactionary.

What this means is having self control and not reacting  with a response of impulsive behavior. In addition, mindfulness allows for mental calmness in a state of composure. Within that composure is mental clarity and concentration.

You place all focus on what you are doing with aligned action. Awareness for where you are in the moment. Living into who you are choosing to be with intention and discipline. Functioning from a conscious thought process. This could be referred to as “the higher self” or “divine self.”

There is one important attribute that mindfulness offers in life. It is the ability to relate to self and others. In this space, kindness, compassion and acceptance are visible in awareness. Mindfulness can offer other perspectives. The perspectives offer other opportunities and choices.

There is a choice to step into the intentions of who you are being.

From my own personal experience, mindfulness has helped me with connection.

Mindfulness helps bring me back to a neutral operating state. Release from the dominating thoughts of judgment.

Letting go of the worries, the doubts.

It is a place of focus and intention on the present.

It breaks moments down into observable pieces.

You notice things start to slow down.

There is an appreciation for all that is right now.

Fading Presence Into Future Worry

Thinking about the future is something to look forward to. It is something that gives hope and possibility. It is the hope and possibility that create a vision. The vision may be within ourselves, others or the world.

Meanwhile, a fixation focused on the future becomes an obsession.

The fixation on the future overlooks the present moment. It transforms into attachment of an outcome or result.

Surprisingly, many important steps are overlooked in the process.

Some steps in the process include appreciation for the learning and growth, acknowledgement of utilized capabilities, celebrating the actions taken.

The need to control the outcome is one area where the focus is misplaced.

Trying to control the outcome is driven by the perceived fears. The fears most often threaten love, safety or belonging in one’s life.

We create  meanings from an outcome. It could perpetuate the worry of, “if it does not happen in the way I want, then it will mean…”

Eventually, worst-case scenarios begin to present themselves.  It begins to drive the need to control.

The stress response becomes active. We view the possible unwanted outcome as a threat to our survival of living.

Refocus The Worry

Focus needs to be directed back to the present moment, which helps alleviate the worry. It needs to be part of where you are now.

In some cases, our inner dialogue asks the question, “Is it enough, am I enough being where I am in this moment right now?” This question wants to immediately take you into the future to escape.

Instantly, deep breaths calm the stress response. You can continue to calm the worry. It needs reassurance of safety. It needs assurance of support.

Let the part of you, that wants to worry, know it is accepted and appreciated. That part of you is acknowledged in the present moment.

Take a step back and look at what might be creating the worry.

You can enroll trust in the steps you have taken. That will allow you to acknowledge they are leading towards the future.

Redirect your focus, what is possible now?

What choices are available to you now?

What steps can you take now?

Being present in the moment is the only way to be guided gracefully along the path to the future.

  • What can you do to bring yourself back to this moment?
  • What part of you has concerns about the future?
  • How might you acknowledge this part of you?
  • How might you comfort this part of you by the choices, steps and possibilities that are available in this moment?

The calming silence through stillness to create a tranquil inner world

Thoughts infuse the mind when we wake until we sleep.

Racing from one moment to the next.

Not taking the time to be in silence.

Not taking a moment to be still, and in presence.

What is in that moment of stillness and silence?

It is a space filled with propositions of inner connection. The inner connection aligns with the outer connection of life.

In that space of stillness and silence there is no constraint or resistance to time.

There is a flow of effortless tranquility.

All the judgements of “what isn’t” or “needs to be” vanishes.

A choice for peace, internally. Aligning with the thoughts and feelings within that peace.

Freedom resides in the silence of the stillness.

A deep knowing is accessed. It allows for listening. Listening to your inner voice.

The loud noises that cover up the inner voice dissipate.

Everything becomes silent. You are an observer in stillness.

Clarity is unmasked.

Open to see the vastness of peace.

 

Mindfulness benefits the experiences in your life

To be present in life requires mindfulness.

Mindfulness is being aware, paying attention without attachment by choice.

Choosing to be present in the moment.

A state of being where body and mind are in the same mental and physical place at the same time.

You place all focus on what you are doing, where you are, who you are being.

In that moment, thoughts of past or future don’t exist.

It is effortless to go through daily routines or just “go through the motions.”

Mindfulness would be to step outside that pattern and be aware of the actions, things you are thinking and doing throughout the day.

 

Being mindful in your day carries many benefits

It can reduce stress by having awareness of thoughts and emotions that are occurring in the moment and giving an opportunity to process them.

Situations are no longer just reactionary.

There is a choice to step into who you are being.

 

From my own personal experience, mindfulness has helped me with connection.

It helps bring me back to a neutral operating state.

Letting go of the worries, the doubts.

It is a place of focus and intention on the present.

It breaks moments down into observable pieces.

You notice things start to slow down.

Calm in the presence of stillness, reveals appreciation for all that is right now.