One of the most important things you can do for yourself in times of crisis is to learn to calm your mind. The fear, anxiety, uncertainty and even anger that your feeling right now is valid, but continually focusing on them is going to start taking a toll on your mental health and impact your decision-making. The frame of you’re in when contemplating making big changes to your business or personal life will highly impact your future success.
Your mind is endlessly active; contemplating the future, your to-do lists, rehashing the past, and fretting about things out of your control. This amazing tool of ours is incredibly powerful as it makes connections, creates solutions, and can be applied in numerous ways. It’s also often unchecked, undisciplined, and runs away with us as hapless victims of its ministrations. Most of us believe we have no control over it.
So, how do you get your mind on board with your changes? I have a simple, yet powerful exercise to assist you.
Calming the mind is about becoming still and conscious of the current moment. It is NOT about stopping the thoughts. The first priority is creating a little discipline by teaching your mind to focus on something subtle and not mentally engaging. Your breath is an excellent place to focus because it is always available, and controlling your breath helps give you control over your body, too. Let’s try it!
First, Focus on Your Breath: Is it in your chest, your stomach, or your nose? Is it shallow, deep, sporadic, or even? Do you feel the coolness of the air as it passes your nostrils, the heat as it leaves your nose?
Guess What? If you answered anything in those questions –– you’ve just successfully practiced mindfulness.
Second, Take Three Deep Breaths: These breaths should be in through the nose for a count of three, hold for a second at the top, and then out through the mouth for a count of five. You should notice that your physiological system has started to calm down and relax as you take each breath.
Third, Re-Engage With Your Moment: You have now calmed your nervous system down and there were likely NO ERRANT THOUGHTS happening while you were focused on this exercise. This is how you calm your mind in order to make clearer decisions.
Centered and calm, the decision to choose a cookie or an apple, choose another glass of wine or a glass of water, or choose the stairs or the elevator is within YOUR control. This exercise took no more than two minutes to do and now you can make choices that support your goals and empower you. Practice this simple exercise multiple times and places throughout your day to ensure you have it ready when you really need it.
Mental Health Resources
If you’re experiencing stress, anxiety or depression, here are a few resources to help you if you need them.
- Oak - Free Daily Meditation App - https://www.oakmeditation.com/
- BetterHelp - http://www.betterhelp.com
- Alpha Medical - https://www.helloalpha.com/membership/
- Therapy For Black Girls - https://therapyforblackgirls.com/
- BEAM - https://www.beam.community/bvtn
- Talkspace - https://www.talkspace.com/
- Mental Health America - https://screening.mhanational.org