Ground Yourself in 5 minutes: Meditation to Gain Control of the Mind
Have an insane day? Week? Life? Gain some control over the fluctuations of your mind, of its tendency to run away with your whirling thoughts by focusing on your breath. This is practical advice for practical people who want to take control of their moods and their thoughts – and it works! As you steady the breath, you regulate the parasympathetic nervous system, stabilize your heart rate and a feeling of ease inevitably arises.
Sit down on the floor or in a chair (make it comfortable!) and close your eyes. You can set an alarm on your phone for 5 minutes or just wing it. As your eyes close to all of the stimulation they constantly pour into your mind, take on an internal gaze. Begin to feel your internal self, become aware of the quality of your breath, notice what is causing you anxiety or taking over your mind space. Bring your attention to the source of your anxiety and then consciously decide to let it drop away.
Focus first on your physical body. Feel stillness wash over you. Feel the spine lengthen towards the crown of the head. Notice how an incoming breath is drawn into your body and also what happens as you let that breath go. Try to make the inhales and exhales even in length. As you inhale, silently say “Let” and as you exhale, silently say, “Go”.
As thoughts re-enter the mind and vie for your attention, simply return to your breath and to your simple mantra of “Let Go.” When the alarm buzzes – or you can’t sit still any longer – bring your hands together in front of your heart, bow your head slightly and express gratitude in any way that feels natural. And that’s it! You have thoughts, but you are not your thoughts! Carry on! You can do it!