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Right now my twin 7 year olds are in the next room trying to take their online classes.

One of them just scribbled IN PEN on the other’s back!

Immediately I felt my chest tighten and my face get hot.

And so….we practice.

One of My Greatest Tips

I always try to encourage my students to look at stressful experiences as opportunities to practice.  The greatest time to practice true stress reduction is when the stress is rising for us in the first place.  Otherwise it turns into a practice of stress management.

But we don’t want to manage our stress.  We want to BRING OUR STRESS DOWN.

We want freedom from it.

When my son scribbled on my other son’s shirt, I used one of the practices I shared with everyone in my webinar Mindfulness for Anxiety Relief on April 4, 2020.

Here’s a recap of the 4 Practices I taught in this Webinar, and which one I used in that moment of scribble-on-Shirt-stress.

1. It’s OK to be feeling exactly what you’re feeling right now. 

This is the practice I used this morning….When my son scribbled on my other son, I felt my chest clench up. And then my practice was IN THAT MOMENT to let myself feel it.  I took a pause and moved my mind into my body.  It took about 2 seconds to do, and it allowed me to give myself the space to feel…even when the feeling was something stressful – instead of shove the feeling down and then later have to eat 5 donuts to get over it.  I allowed it be here….which then allows it to clear so much faster than if I hadn’t given it some space.  Then I took action from a much calmer place and created a consequence for his action.

2. The 5-4-3-2-1 Practice

This practice helps you to bring your mind into the present by asking yourself to notice:

5 Things You See
4 Things You Hear
3 Things You Feel or Sense
2 Things you Smell (you can use props for this)
1 Thing You Taste
This practice can be done in a few minutes, or you can really take your time with it.  I recommend doing this practice at your desk when you’re getting overwhelmed by your thoughts of past and future, or sitting outside for a breath of fresh air.  I find this practice works best when I’m not necessarily on the spot or in a big hurry.  After my scribble incident, I went into the kitchen to make eggs and cracked an egg directly into the sink instead of my waiting bowl.  So much on the mind right now!  So then I did this practice right as I was standing there – took about 1 minute to do – so that I didn’t burn down the house when I set to cookin’ ‘dem eggs!

3. Mental Engagement in the Present

This is the practice I talked about as it relates to getting out of the Default Mode of Brain Function.  {CLICK HERE to learn more about the Default Mode.}

Defaulting happens when mental engagement softens, so the way to get ourselves out of defaulting is by engaging our mind in the present.

Then I led everyone through a simple breathing meditation in which we practiced mentally engaging with the present moment feeling of in breath, feeling of out breath…and watch as it quiets your default mode of endlessly rehashing the past and rehearsing for the future.

I recommend doing this practice a lot.  Don’t worry if at forst it doesn’t seem like it’s “working.”  It takes some skill to take charge of your mind and your brain…and if you’ve been letting your thoughts run rampant for years, it’s going to take a minute to unwind all of that and develop some skill with putting your mind where you want it to be, when you want it to be there, which is one of the ways I define meditation.

4. Using Your Mind to Find Places in the Body that Aren’t in Stress

Whenever we feel something that we don’t want to be feeling, our brain has a tendency to focus on it.  Why?  Because it sees the feeling as a problem, and your brain always wants to be solving your problems in order to better help you to survive.  In this practice we move our minds throughout the body in search of places that aren’t feeling anxiety….like maybe your toes?  Or the back of your knees?  Or maybe your hands in your lap?  Or the skin on your face?  This is the practice of using your mind to show your brain parts of your body that AREN’T in anxiety, which can have a mitigating effect on how the brain is registering your anxiety….which can directly help you to feel some relief from your anxiety.

This is a BIG practice, and I’ll be going over it more in the upcoming webinars.
CLICK HERE to sign up for the next webinar May 2, Releasing Fear and Anxiety.

Here’s what you get when you sign up for May 2: Releasing Fear and Anxiety

  • —Two beautiful downloadable guided meditations…one of them is my all time favorite stress relieving practice….we’ll also be doing it live at the webinar.
  • —An e-book compiling the highlights of the webinar + added teachings
  • –Access to the replay should you need to miss the live Saturday session….or if you wish to revisit it again later
  • —Access to these monthly webinars in a way that will keep your costs super low and your engagement super high

 

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STRESS
REDUCTION
Settling the Mind on the Breath Meditation

Breathing can be an immediate tool for calming the central nervous system. This short meditation can be done anytime, anywhere you want to take things down a notch and ease your stress.

I hope so much it helps,

Michelle
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SLEEP ISSUES
Middle of the Night Meditation

The next best thing to sleep is rest. If you can use this meditation to help you move into a state of rest, you are at least now moving in a good direction. So don't be discouraged if it doesn't put you right to sleep. Use it to put you to rest, and then see what happens.

I hope so much this helps,

Michelle
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If you Google what the top ten most successful people do on a daily basis, more than half say they meditate.

When our mind gets scattered, it's hard to be efficient and effective. Try this short practice to interrupt any overwhelm and refocus the mind.

Hope it helps!

Michelle
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