A Mind Full Of Calm

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

These are uncertain times and our minds can be full of worry and fear. Uncertainty breeds fear. The unknown can be a very scary thing.

Even in times like these, we can find ways to have a mind full of calm. With all of our social-distancing and quarantine, many of us find ourselves with time we need to fill. We can fill it with worry and fear or we can fill it with calm.

Many people still view meditation as some foreign concept that they believe they cannot do. They see it as getting rid of all thoughts, which they feel is an impossible task. It is something very much different than that, however.

Meditation is about the recognition of thought, the acknowledgement of thought, and the releasing of thought. In much the same way as imagining thoughts on clouds and those clouds being allowed to go on their way.

Meditation is about knowing the thoughts we have, confronting them, but not allowing them to take root and take over our minds.

Meditation offers a place of calm in a sea of turmoil.

Many of my younger clients, who are accustomed to constant input and digital interaction, think meditation is boring. It can be difficult to get started, but like any other habit, it can be done just a little at a time and increased slowly becoming a habit over time.

There are several apps that we can use for meditation and these seem to really work well for our digitally oriented minds. Perhaps if you give one of these a genuine try, you might find a mind full of calm for yourself.

I am not in any way affiliated with any of these apps. All of these apps are free to download and use and offer other in app purchases to expand their use.

1 — Headspace. Possibly one of the most well known of the meditation apps offering guided meditations of varying time to get you started on your journey. Meditations of as little as 1 minute can get you started on your way to a mind full of calm.

2 — Calm. Another well-known meditation app. It also offers guided meditations as well as seven and 21-day programs for beginners.

3 — Insight Timer. This app offers both guided and unguided meditations. You can set a timer and sit without guidance or choose guided meditations with mindfulness teachers.

4 — Aura. This app features daily meditations, mood tracking, and nature sounds. You can also set timers to take breaks and do breathing throughout the day.

5 — Smiling Mind. This app offers simple, 10-minute meditations that are broken down by age group. It covers age seven to adults with these meditations. So this app is a great starter for younger kids and teens.

Starting with just a single minute a day, you can find ways to manage your fears and worries and calm your mind.

Navigating the uncertainty and managing social-distancing and quarantine can be made easier if you have a mind full of calm.

It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos. ~ Donna Karan

Until next time be well,

Deborah

Enhance Your Calm

Enhance your calm and be well. So many of my clients struggle with anxiety related issues and find it hard to be calm. Whether it is non-stop thoughts, worrying about what other people say or think about them, inability to sleep or sleep well, social situations, past events or traumas they find it hard to notice the present moment, breathe, and relax. With just a few changes or additions to your daily routine, you can learn to enhance your calm and be well.

Everyone is so busy or think they are so busy that they often feel they cannot incorporate any calming strategies into their lives. However, many of those calming activities can take just a few short minutes each day. If you cut a few minutes off your time spent on your phone or other devices you could find the time very quickly to enhance your calm.

Meditation practice offers many ways to incorporate calm into your life. Headspace is a guided meditation app I have used for years. It offers a free option with 10 basic meditation units that you can use over and over again to become more calm. It also offers a paid version that has meditation units as short as 1 minute in length and other units that are targeted to specific situations. Meditation is not about learning how to STOP thinking it is about learning to notice your thoughts and let them GO. Seeing your thoughts as clouds and that just pass through, not as plants that put down roots and stay.

Another way to enhance your calm quickly is practicing deep breathing techniques. There are several techniques to practice and you may find you benefit from one more than another. It just takes practice. You can practice before sleep, while driving, on the bus, in class or at work, while you are scanning your electronic devices. Everyone has a few minutes to spare to enhance their calm.

Progressive muscle relaxation is another way to enhance your calm that once you have practiced it only takes a few minutes as well. Once you have learned the “script” by practicing multiple times, you will be able to achieve deep relaxation throughout your muscles with head to toe calm.

Essential oils can be an additional item to use to manage anxiety and stress. Using aromatherapy through diffusers, applying oils to cotton balls, or just breathing them as you are doing deep breathing practice can enhance your calm dramatically. Some of the best oils to use for anxiety and stress are Valerian, Jatamansi, Lavendar, Bergamot, Chamomile, Ylang-Ylang, Vetiver, Frankincense, Clary Sage, Holy Basil are all very good at enhancing your calm. Blends of these oils are even more effective. Always use pure, organic oils for aromatherapy to get the best results.

Some other ways to enhance your calm that you can add on to these more practiced ways include exercise even if it’s just a little bit to release endorphins, very dark chocolate at least 80% cocoa, laughing A LOT, and a nice cup of Sleepytime tea from time to time.

If you find yourself getting on to your phone or other device and thinking you will spend just a few minutes only to realize you’ve been at it for hours, binge watch full seasons of shows on Netflix in a weekend, or spending a lot of time wondering how to feel less anxious – you have time to use some of these ways to enhance your calm and be well.

Until next time,
Deborah

If you think counseling can help you enhance your calm more and learn how to let go of some of the things that keep you anxious and worried, I am accepting new clients (adolescent girls and adult women) for counseling. Call 406-413-9904 or email mindfulmontanawellness@gmail.com to set up a FREE initial consultation.