Are you getting caught up in the pre-festival frenzy? Did you start out very organised and resolved not to be caught out this year yet somehow find yourself speeding up as the days go on? Do you feel like you’re stuck on fast forward?
If the answer is yes, perhaps it’s time to press pause.
There was a fascinating item on BBC radio a while back about mindfulness. Apparently people who practice mindfulness are a much harder bunch for advertisers to sell to (they can be less stressed all round, see this post). Or rather they were able to resist more effectively the intense pressure of advertising than other groups. They didn’t need so many things to feel content. So here’s a very short mindfulness type exercise which won’t eat into your day but may reduce your stress levels and act like your own internal pause button during these busy weeks.
The Press Pause Exercise
Each hour has 60 minutes. Choose one of those sixty minutes and do the following:
Pause in whatever you are doing (in safety-obviously!). If possible lower or close your eyes. Become aware of just what your body is doing. Notice if your feet are on the ground, hooked round a chair, if you have crossed legs, etcetera? Now pay attention to your torso. How are you holding yourself, are you able to breathe as well as you can?
Now notice your breathing. How are you breathing? Just take notice, don’t change it (although almost inevitably just being aware will slow your breathing).
Notice how you actually feel. Don’t judge, just notice what your feelings are, become conscious of your emotions.
And finally, when convenient for you, breathe out one breath for a slightly longer time than normal. Just one.
Open your eyes.
Photo credit: M Kranz
Posted on December 6th, 2011 by Jane