When folks remind us to live in the moment, they’re actually offering up sound advice. Yes, we hear it a lot, and it’s tempting to blow it off as just another platitude. But here’s why it is sound advice: When we focus on what is happening right now, we are not worrying about the future or the past.
Those of us who suffer from anxiety or depression (or both) are often ruminating about some past detail or obsessing over an unknown future event. We are either living in the past or living in the future. We are, however, not present in the here and now. So we’re not living our life!
When we take time to meditate or practice yoga, we’re training our minds to focus on what’s happening now. Focusing on yoga poses, or on our breath, forces us to let go of the past and not worry about tomorrow. Additionally, if we focus on a task we are doing more intently, such as walking to the car or folding the laundry, we are training our mind to focus on what is going on in the moment. This is otherwise known as mindfulness.
So as we attend to our tasks more mindfully and practice grounding through meditation or yoga, we stop thinking about the past and the future and our minds calm down. Space opens up enabling us to concentrate on tasks more, relax a bit, and appreciate the little things that we often take for granted while we obsess about the past or the future.
Disclaimer: All articles written on Microyogi are opinions and not meant to serve as any kind of instruction for how to move your body. I am merely writing as a means of trying to find my own answers. I am not a medical expert.
Places of work can be especially toxic environments for empaths. Job sites are often fast-paced, noisy places. Add to it one or two energy vampires and the empath is overloaded often before they even realize it. Even to those who do not particularly identify as empaths, job environments can still be stressful and anxiety-provoking. Many of us are in a less than desirable job when all aspects are considered. Hopefully, most aspects of our jobs remain satisfying to some degree but some days are harder than others. These are the days where a little extra help in the self-care department is necessary.
When we become anxious, our thoughts often spiral into a blur of worry. Under some circumstances, leaving the room and going for a walk may not be appropriate. If possible though, try to get outside and take a short walk at some point during the day. If it is not immediately possible what can you do in the meantime? Try a short grounding meditation.
Here are 2 quick easy-to-remember meditation techniques that you can try separately or even combined together.
1. Deep breathing
Take a moment or two and pause to just breathe deeply. When we are under stress our breathing gets a little shallow. Just stopping and noticing this stops the swirling thoughts a little. First focus on your normal inhales and exhales. Once you have observed your breath for a few moments, practice a few rounds of the following breathing pattern:
Inhale for a count of 4
Hold your breath for a count of 4
Exhale for a count of 8
Do this for about 3 to 5 rounds and then return to your usual breathing. Maybe you will decide to continue on for another few rounds of the breathing pattern with rests of normal breathing in between.
2. Imagine you have roots anchoring yourself to the ground.
Maybe the roots extend out from the soles of your feet into the floor. Or maybe they extend from the bottom of your spine through your chair and into the ground or both. The mental image of rooting yourself to the earth can be both calming and empowering. You can even imagine returning the negative energy to the ground.
Often when we feel anxiety it is because we have become ungrounded and get lost in the stress of the moment. Simple, short meditations can be a simple and effective tool for re-grounding yourself. Try practicing these techniques when and while you are calm. When you need to use them during a stressful time, you will be more prepared.
Disclaimer: All articles written on microyogi are opinions and not meant to serve as any kind of instruction for how to move your body. I am merely writing as a means of trying to find my own answers. I am not a medical expert.