It’s natural to be drawn to your thoughts and to follow them–and a real skill and discipline to resist them. Now, of course, the goal is not to resist every thought you ever have! Your thoughts are not unhealthy in and of themselves, but wouldn’t it be nice to let the negative ones roll by!
When you can take on an active role observing your thoughts, rather than a passive one, you will notice a difference in the way you react to them and to the world around you.
When you quiet your mind, you can take your mental “temperature” and steady your energy, regardless of what thoughts arise.
TIP: TAKE A DEEP BREATH. SLOW RHYTHMIC BREATHING CAN CALM THE MIND WHILE HELPING YOU FEEL MORE AWAKE AND ALERT
Now you’re going to take this skill a step further by not just observing your thoughts, but working to actively maintain your energy levels as you do.
Your thoughts affect your mood
Your thoughts create a reaction in you that affects our energy level. For instance, you may have a thought that triggers a negative reaction, and soon, you’re seething and upset–and you’re only washing dishes! Our thoughts transport us from this world into another, so that we can end up causing more stress and unhappiness in our lives by living in the world of those thoughts, rather than grounded in the present.
By becoming more aware of your energy, you’re better able to stay balanced throughout your day and less likely to overreact.
What you’ll learn
This lesson is one of inner balance–how to find and maintain that balance, even when thoughts and feelings threaten to throw you off kilter. First, take note of your energy level right now–are you feeling alert and awake? Maybe a little tired or edgy? When you quiet your mind, you can take your mental “temperature” and steady your energy regardless of what thoughts arise. We call this “cultivating awareness” because it requires practice and intention.
The way this benefits you in your own life is clear: By becoming more aware of your energy, you’re better able to stay balanced throughout your day and less likely to react (or more likely overreact) to sources of stress at work or at home. One way to do this is to create a beautiful, peaceful place in your mind you can return to again and again.
Take your energy temperature throughout the day. Try it when you first wake up, a few minutes at your desk, or standing in line at the grocery store. Become aware of whether your energy is spiking or dropping, and then use your breath to help level that energy. A few minutes of slow, rhythmic breaking can work in both cases–it calms the nervous system while replenishing your body with oxygen, which can help make you feel more alert. Learning to maintain your energy can help reduce the extreme ups and downs which cause wear and tear on your nervous system.
How We Can Help
Be sure to access our Meditation Pebbles Podcast for easy five minute practices you can do easily. If you would like to work more with the breath and quieting the mind, be sure to explore our meditation and mindfulness instruction information. We offer personal and group instruction.
One series to take note of is the Meditation for Stress Relief. In this series, we’ll explore together how meditation can help relieve stress. You’ll learn detailed information on stress and how to de-stress, breathing focus meditations, body scan meditation, visualizations, and more in our one-on-one sessions.
*Excerpt from Healthy Rhythms
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