How do you mute the noise of the mind?
I’ve just finished my first week of teaching online after I was thrown into a whirlwind with the arrival of the Coronavirus.
My mind took over and became a very noisy film-reel running through a repetitive loop of worry:
My parents – my sister – my sister’s business – upcoming travel – cancelling travel – not seeing my family for ages – the economy – my business – my students – keeping the classes going – the decision to move online – my struggle with technology – my worsening cold – my old laptop – my parents again…
It just went on and on and on. I’m sure you’ve all been experiencing the same – concern with so many different factors involving your children, parents, friends, coping with changed routines, doing your best to keep working, social issues etc, all on the top of the existing worry you had prior to this social change. How do you break that pattern of worry, of constant anxiety? How do you mute the noise of your mind?
The Calming Breath
You can’t switch them off. Your thoughts are there. But you can move away from them.
Use a simple gesture and an intention:
- Find a comfortable seat whether on the floor or a chair and place a hand on your chest, close to your heart, and the other on your belly.
- Connect with the feeling of warmth under your hands. Notice if you can feel your heartbeat, the movement of your chest and your belly as you breathe, and the support of the floor or chair beneath your sitting bones.
- Take a breath in to the count of 3, and gently breathe out to the count of 4.
- Do it again, and keep going until you’ve completed a round of 10 of these breaths. It will help to ground you, and it will pull your mind out of your head and towards your body, towards your breath, towards the sensations underneath your hands.
Doing this just a few times a day helps you to balance the busyness, the juggling that you’re having to do with children, old folk, jobs, responsibilities, and the resulting repetitive stories running through your mind. It gives you a much-needed pause.
Author: Claire Ng-Martin