I had a brilliant bank holiday. I absolutely loved it. I was relaxed. Almost completely relaxed. I enjoyed some quality time with Noah and saw lots friends.
The most I left the village (save for a quick Tesco trip) was when I went out on the Cart and enjoyed the beautiful countryside we live in, and the sunny morning.
The one thing that stopped me being completely relaxed was the awareness that I had to deliver some training at work today and I was a bit apprehensive about it.
It was a long training session, it lasted over 4 hours. I was ok with the content, I had all the notes I needed. What was playing on my mind was the fact that it was a Webinar. I had to set up a conference call with 10 attendees, make sure the presentation was on the webinar and get all the participants to sign in and log on at the right time.
As usual the reality of it was absolutely fine, there really was nothing to worry about. It all worked perfectly and everyone gave great feedback.
It really got me thinking about how often we, as humans, predict catastrophe. We dream up all sort of disaster stories in our mind and worry ourselves unnecessarily. Usually looking back we realise that all the worry was needless.
The great thing about my weekend was that this time I managed to keep the worry in perspective. It did pop up in my thoughts from time to time but I feel like I had the tools to manage it.
I realised that resistance is a major part of worrying for me. I naturally resist the thoughts that pop into my head, I see them as intruding, ruining my time off. Actually if I accept that it is perfectly natural to be thinking about what is coming up, to some extent, then the thoughts come less often. When they do come I notice them, and then move on, no drama.
This is so often the way with thoughts that bother us. The more we fight them the more they repeat. So try being kinder to yourself and accepting that your thoughts are completely normal.
The other thing that I realised is how mindful this distraction made me. Rather than letting it take over my my runs and rides over the weekend it made them much more mindful.
Because I was aware of the thoughts that were entering my mind I decided to do some brain training whilst I was active. I had a couple of really great training sessions on my runs because at the same time I was doing a brain training exercise designed to increase focus.
Sometime rather than resisting the busy nature of our mind we can embrace it by putting it to good use. Next time your mind is a little hectic and you want to enjoy doing something active try this…
1)Imagine a bright ball of light about the size of a football. It takes in different areas of your body as you move your focus and it moves between them bringing warmth and relaxation wherever it hovers.
3) Make the movement of the ball vary in speed as you continue along your way. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow.
4) In turn move your focus to these body parts – feet and ankles, abdomen, sola plexus, chest, throat, brow, then 8 inches above your head and then back down.
5) Repeat many times, tame your mind.
By training your brain to focus on these different areas of your body you are preparing it for the changing stations that we face in life and you build your ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Best of all you retain the ability to concentrate. You are teaching your brain to focus where you want it to.
So rather than missing out on the time with your friends and rather than worrying your way through the special time with your family, get your mind working for you. Don’t let your mind dictate your day, make your time your own.
Come on a Revitalise Day to learn how to handle other difficult situations. Train your mind so that you are equipped for distraction – whatever may arise.