Friday, October 06, 2006

For a racing mind

I was cleaning out my inbox and came across something Cynthia sent me. I have no idea where it's from but it lookes interesting to me. (UPDATE: Turns out she told me in a separate email. The link is here.)
Here are some good techniques to use if your mind races:

Relax your body completely.
Take in 4 deep breaths, repeating “4” to yourself as you exhale.
Then take 3 deep breaths, repeating “3 when you exhale.
Now take 2 deep breaths, repeating “2” when you exhale.
Finally, take 1 deep breath, repeating “1” as you exhale.

At the same time, focus your mind on a pleasant image. Imagine that you are a passive observer of something very relaxing where there is repetitive motion.

Example: relaxing on the beach, watching the waves go back and forth or just lying in the grass and watching as the clouds move by overhead.

Finally, now you want to cause your mind to go completely blank. As you are focusing on this repetitive movement, begin to envision a blank form. Just like you are standing on the edge of an abyss where there is no form and all is void.

Focus on the void and remain there as you continue to relax deeper and deeper. Hold this as long as you can.
My only disagreement with this is that we can't really make out minds go completely blank. We can, however, focus on something blank and give our minds permission to rest there. I think that's what the writer means.

The breathing exercise is excellent. Try it. I think you'll see that it works in situations of anxiety or agitation.

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