I write regularly and talk often to my clients about the importance of looking after ourselves as business owners. This is something I always mean to get around to, but don’t always prioritise. Then something will happen which brings wellness higher up my list, such as feeling a bit under the weather, or the unexpected serious illness or death of someone close to me. Such events remind us all about what’s really important.
Having spent some years getting deeper and deeper into the more spiritual side of my own nature, I truly know what’s important to me. This moment. Now. Historically I know I’ve been guilty of spending far too much time in life dwelling on the past or focusing on the future rather than deciding to ‘just be’ in this precise moment. Multi-tasking is the enemy of now.
I’ve been having a go at creating a daily habit out of the three simplest things I can think of to increase my well-being; going for a nice little walk, drinking lots more water than I normally do and taking the time to do some really deep breathing. All three are very therapeutic and all three have the added advantage of being available to all of us at any time and – tra la! – they are FREE.
But I thought I’d share some additional tips for those who might be minded to finally tackle meditation, a topic I know I’d been intending to get into “properly” for decades before I eventually did. I think I’d put it off because I thought I would need to study it in depth to give it a decent go, despite coaches and gurus encouraging me to just sit in silence. No, surely it couldn’t be that easy, could it? But, Gentle Reader, it is.
And so, for those who might appreciate a How To process for calming the mind, here are some easy tips shared by Matthew Johnstone, author of best-seller on depression I Had a Black Dog:
- Set aside 20 minutes a day. Turn off your phone, sit up straight in an upright chair and shut your eyes.
- Focus on the sounds outside the room, then the sounds within your own body, your breathing, heartbeat and the faint ringing in your ears. Use earplugs if it helps.
- The aim is to switch off and think about nothing but your breathing. Other thoughts, to do lists etc., will inevitably pop up. Acknowledge them, then let them go.
- Repeating a mantra can help but make sure it consists of soft words that have no meaning. [Matthew’s own is “schaar-nomm”.]
- Eventually, after several weeks, you’ll feel your mind and body slowing down as they enter a tranquil zone. You may feel energy rushes, serenity, tingling and feelings of weightlessness.
Do you have a fool proof way of switching off, or do you wait for your body to nudge you that it’s overdue? Are you peaceful enough to hear what your body is leading you to do? Because my experience is that the warnings get louder and louder until you are obliged to pay attention when you get taken out of service, felled by something, so you have no choice but to surrender to some compulsory quiet time.
Choose it before it chooses you.