Have you been struggling during the Covid pandemic? I’ve collected together my favourite techniques to support your mental health during times of stress – and have a positive impact on your creativity
Imagine that you are listening to a beautiful piece of music. It inspires you to stop what you are doing and actively listen. This happened to me recently with a piano piece…a Nocturn. I had a sensation I was separate from myself, observing my subtle body, which was experiencing something that moved my deepest being.
It was a profound and beautiful moment and it got me thinking about how our reality is changed. And how our consciousness is transported by sounds, feelings, thoughts and sensations. All of this happened while I was sitting in my meditation space.
It was a reminder that it is my mind that travels while my body remains still. When we meditate, we learn to sit in stillness. This creates a fertile ground for shifts in our awareness to happen. We settle our fluctuating mind, and as thoughts lessen, we enter into the space that exists in between our thoughts. This has the potential for anything to arise.
Controlling the chatter
Think about your thoughts, constantly racing and incessant. How much attachment do you place on your mind chatter? Now imagine that you are separate from your thoughts and you are the observer of your thinking.
During this challenging time, we are all looking for ways to stay upbeat, vital and connected to our creativity. It’s been a struggle with many challenges that we have all experienced.
How do we maintain calm, stay healthy and positive? How do we find meaning and purpose when we are so restricted, and our freedoms curtailed? Let’s practice being an observer and see where it takes us.
Being an observer
Although we all live in one universe, our experiences are unique. We experience through our mind and thoughts, and this can either liberate us or wrap us in chains. Through practice you will find you feel calm and experience a deeper connection to who you are. This will help you connect to your rhythm and vitality.
I have worked in health and wellbeing for more than two decades and seen hundreds of clients. We all have one thing in common – a dialogue inside our head that is either our friend or our foe. We can self-sabotage, live in memories and sink into a spiral of depression where we feel blocked and our energy is unable to flow. Or, we can choose to change our inner dialogue to positive thoughts that empower and help us thrive.
I’ve come up with four techniques to help you calm your mind and experience body and breath connection that will move you towards inner calm. They 100 per cent work and, with practice, will wield great results.
Four ways to find your Covid calm
Your breath is your greatest tool to transformation. Try this technique for one minute every day and increase it as you master the method. How to: Breathe in for a count of 6 breathe and out for a count of 6. Do this for 5 inhalations and exhalations and you have done a minute! You can gradually extend the practice to 20 breaths which is 4 minutes and increase up to 15 minutes. Benefits: calmness, reduction in stress, regulation and balance. We are made up of rhythms: circadian, heartbeat, pulse rate, lymph gland and many more. With practice you can balance all your rhythms by practicing breathing techniques
Spend time each day in stillness
You don’t need to have a ‘meditation practice’ to sit in stillness. How to: When you wake up spend a minute connecting to your body’s energy. Start with your hands, palms and fingers. These are strong energy points. Notice how your body feels today. Do this without judgement or an opinion. Just observe. You can build this up to a few minutes a day. Remember to enjoy the experience as you do this. The intention behind your action is important and will determine how deeply you enter into your practice. You can do this sitting, standing or lying. Benefits: You will feel vital, happier and connected to who you are.
A fantastic way to mind travel whilst staying indoors. This has to be the perfect lockdown travel panacea. Use the power of your mind to visualise your desires. If you find visualisation hard try this technique. How to: Sit quietly focusing on your breath for 1 minute. Now close your eyes and focus on your breath for 1 minute. Now open your eyes and focus on an object (any object) for 1 minute. Close your eyes and visualise the object for 1 minute. Open your eyes and sit quietly for 1 minute and observe how you feel. This is a great way to start training yourself into visualisation. Lots of people think they can’t visualise, but we all have an amazing ability to see through images. We do lots of techniques like this in my Meditation for Writers group. Benefits: As you try this you are creating new pathways to creativity. Not only does this train you to control your thoughts it fills your body with all the feel good hormones as your mind cannot distinguish between visualising and you being actively present!
Start each day with gratitude
Louise Hay, one of my mentors, would always thank her bed for a good night’s sleep. If that sounds wacky (it did to me when I first heard this), make a habit of noticing things throughout your day that make you feel good and just say thank you! How to: Start with nature. Notice a tree or plant and connect with the positive feelings when you observe it. I love cloud watching. I visualise a positive shower of hope coming through the crown of my head and down my spine. Benefits: Learn to give thanks and you will be rewarded a thousand times over.
I truly hope these techniques will help you. I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line, let’s connect. It’s my passion to help you, share my knowledge and learn through hearing your experiences.
Namaste, peace and love Mel x
Need more? Find out more about my natural health coaching here.