(Adapted from Peggy Sealfon’s ‘Kick Stress to the Curb’)
1 TOOL TO BLOW YOUR CARES AWAY
When stress crashes up on your personal shore of life and it feels like you’re being tossed around by high winds and unpredictable waves (disappointments, work, aggravations, family, money woes and all around general frustrations), it’s nice to know there’s a ‘go-to’ tool to help you find your inner calm and float.
When we hit our personal ‘pause button’ from present annoyances and seek stillness for a few minutes we interrupt patterns of stressful thoughts, negative emotions and behaviors to dial down overwhelm. Extra bennies include improved brain function and a relaxed body.
Bite-sized visual meditations effectively give the mind a quick “look/see’ to the desired feeling state. The mind can’t interpret actual experiences from imagined ones, so visualizations feel totally real. POWERFUL!
Gift yourself self-kindness by finding a quiet place to be alone and uninterrupted for a few minutes. (I’m talking a three-minute yield.)
Sit upright with eyes closed. Take a breath and settle in to whatever you’re resting upon. Put your attention on your lower body and notice how the surface beneath your feet supports you.
Give yourself permission to relax.
Balloon Lift-off Tool.
- Imagine an empty balloon.
- Take a deep breath (around 6 seconds) and visualize exhaling slowly all your uncomfortable feelings and thoughts into it.
- Filling up the balloon with all your present struggles, concerns and stress.
- Take as long as you need.
- Go slowly and know ‘all that stuff weighing you down’ is packed into the balloon, separate from you.
- Keep blowing as many times as you like.
- Know the balloon is strong enough to expand and take in all your worries. It cannot pop.
- Pinch the valve tight, tie it off and let IT go.
Watch as it rises, floats away into the big, wide sky, moves with the clouds, becomes a dot and finally disappears into the vast universe.
Stay here for a few moments with your face tilted towards the expansive heavens.
Soak in the lightness and receive release.
Those stressful thoughts and concerns are lifted from your spirit. They’re no longer necessary or needed. Recycled for good use.
Feel those thoughts gone, Gone, GONE!
Observe your body, emotions and mind.
Your shore is calm. The waves are mild; the breeze gentle. This is your natural state of wellbeing.
Repeat as needed.