I’m really good at stressing myself out. I’m sure a lot of you guys are too. We need something to happen a certain way and at a certain time, and it doesn’t go as planned- stress comes pouring out the ears. It happens to the best of us.
Lately there’ve been a few ways that I’ve been able to get around this stress though. More accurately, I’ve found some ways to get out of it’s way. Of course I’d tried the age old wisdom of simply avoiding stressful situations and pretending that they don’t exist, but we all know how effective those are before the dam breaks lose.
That said, the thing I’ve been trying is being aware. Weird right? It sounds simple and, quite frankly, ineffective. But let me explain. I’m not talking about just having our eyes and ears open and looking around. I mean practicing both internal, and passive external awareness through meditation.
[Passive] External Awareness
I call say that this is passive because I’m not chasing to focus on any particular sight or sound around me. Instead, I spend a few moments with my eyes open. I’m not focused on anything, just letting the sights come in as they will. After a few breaths my eyes close, and my ears then do the same as the eyes had done. Any sounds present simply come. I’m aware of them, but I don’t focus on any one sound. From here, I move on to…
This refers to being aware of our internal state. How am I feeling? How does my butt feel against this chair that I’m sitting on? Do my arms feel heavy? I sit and take a few deep breaths while mentally scanning myself from the top of my head down to the tips of my toes. It takes a few minutes, but it forces me to pause. My mind stops running all over the place, worrying about every little thing and making tire streaks across my brain. It’s able to take a walk and smell the roses, so to speak.
This activity typically takes no more than 5 to 10 minutes. It’s a basic meditation that takes no time, doesn’t require any mantras or chanting, and can add a decent productivity boost to my day.
Feel free to give it a try. Tweet me your results @alexyounglive