You know the kind of manic Monday – you jump out of bed and you already feel stressed and overwhelmed at the week ahead.
As you’re in the shower, you’re anticipating the day – work, clients, children, extras like shopping at lunchtime and more tasks when you arrive home in the evening.
Your mind jumps from one thing to another which may leave you feeling thrilled at all this busyness. Alternatively, it may get you feeling slightly manic about the packed schedule of your day.
This is the cue for your brain to elicit a stress response in your body. It interprets your thoughts as real life dangers and begins to flood your body with adrenaline.
So you are now geared up for a full ‘fight or flight’ situation with tense muscles, knotted stomach and even heart palpitations. Your brain can’t distinguish between a real life-or-death situation and you thinking of something stressful.
Where your mind goes, your body follows
So while you are showering, notice your thoughts and see if you can rein them all in.
Simply be present and experience your shower. Enjoy the feel of the hot water and the smell of the shower gel. Appreciate this moment of relaxation as you shampoo your hair.
Whenever you start feeling panic and stress remember what’s happening. Know that your mind is racing ahead and will keep creating this stress response unless you stop and become present. Become more aware of what you are creating.
Here are 4 more tips to stop the stress response from whirling off into overdrive:
• When you wake up, give yourself a few minutes to notice the sensations of your breath before you jump out of bed.
• Cut out noise – when driving your car switch off noisy background radio.
• Lunch – stop and nourish yourself by mindfully noticing what you are eating and allowing yourself space to enjoy it.
• Get grounded – when things feel overwhelming, stop and get a sense of your feet connected to the ground. With one or two deep breaths you will then feel more in touch with your body again.
By bringing your awareness to your breath and body at any time, you have the tools to slow down the brain’s reactive stress response and stay calm.
This awareness can become a trained response if you learn to do this, through meditation and mindfulness. So with mindfulness you can glide through your day with inner strength and calm.
Say goodbye to manic Mondays!
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Yvette Jane – Mindfulness and Meditation Coach at Place of Serenity, Author of several pocket inspirational books including, ‘365 Days of Mindfulness‘, ‘Mindfulness for Mums‘ and ‘Mindfulness for Every Day’.
Day 18 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge with Sarah Arrow