Is it that time for “overwhelm” already?
As the dust settles from the New Year and the craziness of the holiday season is slowly becoming a distant memory, if you are anything like me, you may find yourself focused on all of the things you have planned for 2016. I am not referring to your New Years resolution list, which you have probably misplaced or thrown out by now, rather, all of the tasks and planning you have to do both personally and professionally for the rest of the year. Whether it is your family’s extra curricular activities, vacations, birthdays, summer camp, next year’s school registration or work related plans – at this point in the game, there is no quiet in our minds.
I hate to use this cliché, but the analogy of putting on the airplane oxygen mask first on ourselves before our loved ones is very true. In order to be able to work productively throughout the day, we must gain the skill of being able to clear our minds and set proper intentions for that day, month, or year. I use the expression “clear our minds” very lightly because the reality is that it will NEVER be totally clear. It can, however, be better focused on a goal at that present moment to pave the way for productivity and emotional state management through mental stability and self-care, even if it is just for a few minutes a day
Here are 3 fast and simple tips for calming your mind to set intentions:
- Meditate. I know this can be a big and scary word if you haven’t tried it or feel that you don’t have the patience for it. If that resonates with you, then let’s simply change the semantics here. Instead of calling it “Mediation” lets call it a “time-out”. Find a quiet spot at work or at home, where you can either lie down or sit comfortably. Once you have found the location and time, set your alarm for 5 minutes. Go ahead and close your eyes and simply focus on your breath. How does it sound, how deep is it? What is the temperature going in and out? Is the temperature of your breath colder going in and warmer going out? Warning: The first time you try this, you will surely have another thought pop in your mind to distract you. That’s totally normal, but for the sake of trying to achieve your goal of calming your mind, bring yourself right back to your breath. Once the five minutes are up, end off your relaxation session with an intention for yourself for the day, month or year. This process will take time, but the more you practice, just like anything else, it becomes easier. After a while your sessions will most likely lengthen in time and your intentions will multiply.
- Release your creativity. Even if you fell that you are the least creative or artistic person alive, you are wrong. We as human beings create from the minute we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. We are creating conversations, experiences, and most of all memories! Having said that, a lot of time we get stuck using our creativity for things that we have to do, rather than things we want to do. So for the sake of calming your mind from all the hustle and bustle, pull out a piece of paper and take 5 minutes to simply doodle! I don’t care if it is a Picasso, or looks like a 2-year-old child’s masterpiece. It doesn’t matter! Simply take a pen and focus on your doodling! If you are going to try to make it a real masterpiece, you are no longer doodling because you are focused on something else, the end result. Any creative expression without having an end game in mind is a great way to calm your mind. Whether it is doodling carelessly on a piece of paper, belting out your favorite song at the top of your lungs, or dancing like no one is watching, you are sure to gain a few minutes of peace of mind!
- Clear out the distractions. In order to clear out the inner distractions, you must take hold of reducing the external distractions. You know that one incredibly loud and annoying toy your child insists on playing at the worst possible times? Hide it! I am quite sure your child has other toys to play with! Some of you may even take it a step further and give it away to charity. If you are one of those parents, kudos!
In order to set any intention for yourself, you don’t necessarily have to be on a Tibetan mountain-top alongside 12 monks. Believe it or not, you can achieve clarity in the comfort of your own home. Regardless of where you are, the one thing that is necessary, is that you take a few moments to calm your mind so that your intentions come from a more peaceful state and self-loving place!
Let me know in the comments which of these suggestions worked best you!