If you research techniques for mental and emotional health on Google and other places you will find 100’s of solutions. At Mooresville, Active Spine Chiropractic we believe in “baby steps.” When you take smaller steps you are more likely to succeed in whatever you are trying to change or accomplish. This part two of a two part series where we are sharing 6 easy techniques that will drastically change your mental and emotional health.
Mental and Emotional Health Technique #4 Focus On the Present Moment
Someone once sad that stress often arises when we’re thinking about either the past or the future, but rarely when we’re focusing on the present. We’re stressed because of an action we’ve taken in the past, or past problems in a relationship, or an old injury or accident. Even more likely, we’re worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet and may never occur! On the other hand, almost anytime we’re fully in the present moment, focused only on what we’re doing or feeling, we are a lot less likely to be stressed.
Look at young children-they live almost completely in the present moment. By putting your focus exclusively on the present moment, on whatever task, person, communication, or sensory object that is before you, you’ll find that it’s a lot more difficult to experience worry pr regret.
There is an easy exercise called, “simple seeing” based on this practice of experiencing the present moment. Choose an object, preferably one of some kind of beauty-a lit candle, a flower or a plant, a favorite item on your desk that has some pleasurable meaning for you are examples. Now focus your attention on the object. Your effort should be simply to observe. Don’t name it, don’t think about it, don’t catalog its characteristics, don’t try to create a meaning or make up a story about it; simply look at the object, observing it as it is. Allow your mind to focus only on the object for five minutes. At the end of that time, notice your mental and emotional state. Most people find this as an excellent technique for focusing the mind and calming the emotions.
Focusing on the present moment is valuable in relationships, too. Far too often we create conversations in our heads instead of being present with the person we’re with. Practice focusing all your attention and awareness on the other person. Really hear what he or she has to say. Watch body language, listen to the tone of voice, let them finish a thought before you come up with a response. You’ll be amazed how much deeper your conversations will feel, and how happy people are when they feel they are truly being heard. Being in the present moment and truly giving your attention to someone else is the best gift you will ever bestow on the people you love. Most importantly it eliminates the stress of miscommunication and misunderstandings.
Mental and Emotional Health Technique #5 Focus on Someone or Something You Love
Have you ever been happily in love? What its like to focus your mind and emotions on the person you care for? What’s your stress level? If the love is reciprocated , most of the time thinking about the beloved makes us feel wonderful. In a similar way, if you have something you absolutely love to do, simply thinking about that pastime is almost like taking a mini-vacation in the middle of your daily activities.
If you’re experiencing stress at work, put pictures o your loved ones on your desk. I’s even better if the pictures are of a happy time you spent together-a vacation, a school field trip, a honeymoon, and so on. When those moments of stress occur, look at your pictures and remember that time. You can also put pictures of your favorite pastime in your office. Take time to focus on the things in life you love and that make you happy.
Mental and Emotional Health Technique #6 Focus on a Word or Phrase
While this technique overlaps with mediation, it can also be a very simple and effective means or concentrating the mind. You choose a word or a phrase and repeat it over and over again, either silently or out loud.
In 1968, Dr. Herert Benson of Havard University was asked to study the effects of Transcendental Meditation on longtime meditations. He documented the relaxation response that was produced in these mediators as a result of their practice. He also discovered that the word or syllable chosen as a focus didn’t matter; the same relaxation response could be produced if a subject repeated the word one over and over again. Nowadays many doctors prescribe this mental relaxation technique for patients with high blood pressure or other stress-related illnesses.
To use this technique yourself, choose a word or phrase that has meaning to you. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and repeat the word or phrase to yourself silently. It’s helpful if you repeat it in time with your breath: Breathe in and say the word or phrase, breathe out and say it. Do this for a period of five minutes at first, and then increase the time gradually until you reach fifteen to twenty minutes.
If you missed the other blogs in this series:
Mental and Emotional Stress: 3 Steps to Taking Control of Stress
Children Get Stress Too: Tips for Mental and Emotional Health in Children
Techniques for Mental and Emotional Health: Part 1
Dr Spencer Charlet
Chiropractor in Mooresville