When your head is churning with what has been, what might be or all those things to do, go for a Senses Walk. You’ll come back calmer, thinking more clearly, and be so much more productive. If physically leaving the room or car is not an option, then this can be done sitting as well; though please, not while you are the driver! Wattle is in season around here so I love letting my nose then eyes find them for me – it’s one of my favourite scents and I love the delicate flowers.
The key to de-stressing is to get out of your head and be fully present in the Present, where you are safe. Spending too much time in the Past with the should-haves and the if-onlys is depressing. Spending too much time in the Future with scary stories of what-if will result in anxiety. The Present moment, right here, right now, is the only moment that is actually real. All else exists only in your imagination. If you are feeling unhappy, tense or down, take a moment to check-in where your thoughts were, Past or Future?
To bring yourself fully back to the Present, where you are safe, as you walk, choose a sense (sight, sound, hearing, touch, smell) to focus on for 5-10 minutes. Then choose another for the next 10 minutes and so on. For example, if you choose Touch, notice how your clothes feel on your skin, the warmth of the sun, the breeze on your face, how your hair moves, the ground beneath your shoes, the touch of your feet in your shoes, the temperature and texture of the plants as you pass, and so on.
Tip: for Sight, choose only one element, for example, focus on noticing a particular colour or object rather than everything you see. Collect smiles if you wish. Warning: only choose Taste if you are having lunch, or Jelly-Belly jellybeans, otherwise you could get yourself into trouble!
Here’s a bonus quick mindset reset for next time you catch yourself feeling tense and you realise you’re doing the dreaded what-ifs. That is, you are telling yourself scary stories about the Future. Ask yourself these two questions: “And what if it doesn’t happen like that? How will that feel?” The first reminds you it’s all in your mind and not real, so the opposite, a positive outcome, may also happen. The second question releases the tension in your body, bringing it back to neutral. Or if you have a great imagination, you’ll be able to give yourself a buzz.
What we focus on is what we get. So changing your focus changes your perception, how you feel, therefore your behaviour and subsequent results. Focus on what you do want in life, rather than what you don’t, and notice the difference! With children, or in the workplace, do the same. Focus on catching them being good, or doing their best albeit unsuccessfully at first. Every step forward, yours or theirs, no matter how small, is still progress. Nurture, encourage, and smile more!
Sue Lester www.SueLester.com
Specialising in clearing ‘head trash’, Sue Lester is a catalyst of change as an international mindset coach & healer, keynote speaker, facilitator, and author of “The Face Within: How to Change Your Unconscious Blueprint”. Combining neuroscience and life experience, Sue coaches those who have lost the “I” out of their L_VES to gain the clarity of thought, heartfelt confidence and gutsy motivation to put it back.