How frequently do you feel stressed or overloaded? What if you could interrupt your stress response and give your body, mind and emotions a mini-vacation? There is a simple process that takes fewer than five minutes and provides the opportunity for you to choose your internal state rather than being at the mercy of your emotions. This technique allows the body to relax. It brings you into the present moment while it short-circuits the mental activity of reworking the past or anticipating the future. And it enhances joy as you replace pressure and worry with ease and happiness. This exercise consists of three simple steps:
- remember a pleasant experience
- call forth the feelings associated with that moment and
- consciously activate and strengthen those feelings
With practice, you can master this technique. When you do, you have the opportunity to purposefully choose your emotional state. If you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you have a tool that allows you to shift your experience. Here is a step-by-step description of this process:
Think of a time when you felt the ease and happiness of a joyful moment. Perhaps you were awed by nature’s beauty. Or you may have been enjoying the laughter and companionship of a close friendship. Take a deep breath and allow the feelings that accompanied that experience to well-up within you. Notice your breath, posture and level of relaxation or excitement as you engage with this memory. Continue to be aware of your breath and each time you inhale, imagine the feelings grower brighter and more expansive. As you exhale, relax into the sensations and allow them to soak into every cell, organ and tissue in your body. Continue this cycle of turning up the strength of your emotional response and then allowing your body to absorb the expanding energy. Take three additional breaths as you increase the emotional intensity even more. Then shift your attention, once again, to your body. What do you notice, now? Has anything changed in your breath, posture or level of relaxation? You might feel a tingling sensation or excitement bubbling inside you. Has a smile begun to grow in your heart or appear on your face? Perhaps you perceive nothing at all. There is no right or wrong answer. It is simply a process of directing your attention. Return your awareness to your breath. Continue to grow the uplifting feelings associated with your experience. Then let the memory of the event fall away and be fully present to your emotional response. Take three more breaths and enjoy the feelings vibrating within you. Once again, pause and notice your current state of being. Are you in a different frame of mind compared to when you began the process? What is the level of ease in your body?
When you practice this technique, stress and worry dissolve. They cannot coexist alongside the high frequency emotions such as those that accompanied the ease and happiness of your joyful memory. This method clears the mind, warms the heart and comforts the body. Your mental activity slows down as you focus on your breath and narrow the focus of your attention. And you feel better as your body relaxes and releases healing chemicals and hormones.
When I remember that I can choose my emotional state, I select joy every time. Activating an uplifted emotional response is quick, easy, effective and much less expensive than a trip to a tropical island! Which memory will you revisit to give your body, mind and emotions their next mini-vacation?
Feel free to contact me at http://www.catherinegrytting.com to learn more tools for managing the increasing stresses of daily life. Or visit the “Essential Energy Tools” page of the Mastering Alchemy website at https://masteringalchemy.com/content/tools-shift-and-beyond.