The One Tool That Helps You Feel Calm
The one tool that helps you feel calm is no secret.
In my previous post I wrote about the two ways in which we respond to pain. In this post my intention is to help you embrace a simple but powerful tool that will positively affect every aspect of your life…if you spend as little as a minute 3-5 times a day practicing it.
That simple tool is Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is not some mystical practice only saints, gurus, and enlightened people can aspire to. My guess is that you and I probably need it more than the gurus and saints. Simply put, you’re mindful when your body and mind are in the same place. This is not our experience most of the time. We’re talking on the cell phone and reaching into the refrigerator for a cold drink. Or you’re walking the dog and texting a friend. We multitask all the time.
Mindfulness is about focused attention. You do one thing at a time. And that ONE THING only.
Read this paragraph. Then close your eyes and follow the steps as I teach you. Become aware of your breath. Where do you notice the breath flow in and out of your body? Nostrils? Belly? Ribcage? Notice how warm or cool your body feels. What smells are around you? How is the light? Feel the texture of clothes on your skin. The pressure of your body sitting in the chair. Just notice and be present with it.
The more you practice, the more easily you’ll drop into present-moment awareness. In this awareness there is no past; there is no future. There is only Now. This moment. And the next. And the next…
Why is mindfulness important when it comes to pain?
When you tune into an unpleasant sensation or feeling, you may notice that your first impulse is to resist it. Or perhaps it pulls you in and you begin to drown. But if you overcome resistance and drowning, you begin to “lean into” that pain. There is an opening, a softening. And you begin to see that pain is ever-changing. It changes from this moment to the next…even if the change is minuscule.
When you allow pain to simply be present, your attitude toward it is caring. Think of yourself as a mother who cradles her baby who is in pain. The idea is to soothe and comfort. Your tender response will ease your pain in the moment.
When the pain of loss rushes over you, practice this:
- Close your eyes and place a hand on the part of your body where you feel the pain. It could be your heart, gut or solar plexus.
- Simply breathe into that place.
- With every breath, feel your heart or gut soften. Feel a softening where there was tightness.
- Just being mindful makes you more receptive to your experience.
- Practice this every time you are able to, and you’ll soon begin to see how your judgment and criticism fall away.
Want to learn some simple practices on mindfulness? Schedule a Single Session.
Wonderful post and so simple.
Hi Claire, Thank you so much for your feedback. I value it. Funny how you were on my mind just yesterday and here you are posting on my blog!!
Uma, I’ve been following your blog for a while. I don’t always get on here to read as often as I’d like, but I’ve always loved what you write. (I contacted my friend Kimberly Paul to connect with you!) I was “led” to this post this morning. I’ve been struggling a little lately…illness, world events, SAD. It’s also coming up on the 5th angelversary of my husband’s death. Even though I am in love again with a wonderful man and I’m happy as all get out…it still hurts. I just finished writing my post for tomorrow’s edition of Marshmallow Ranch and included a link to your page. Thank you for being a beacon of light in a dark place for so many people. Namaste.
What a sweet little note from you, Ginny! Thank you so much! I’m grateful you included a link to my page in your newsletter. That means a lot. Take care, Ginny. There’s a lot going on in the world which makes us all feel unmoored. I don’t know what I’d do without my faith! Thanks for your support. Kimberly interviewed me on Death By Design.
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I just love the things you share. The steps, the moments, the focus and then the challenge of how much can we incorporate these awareness’ daily in our busy lives.
I have a lot to share but I’ll catch you on the next post. I want to thank you.❤️
Thank you, April. I’m so happy you find the content useful. I put a lot of thought into my posts and to receive feedback like yours is truly gratifying. Feel free to write me an email and let me know what’s going on.
Sadness and trying yo deal with my husbands illness.and him slowly slipping away mentally. And so very very tired..thank you for your site
Thank you for sharing some of your story with me. I understand how hard it must be. How can I help you? Feel free to email me via my website.