Are you panicking? Try Mindfulness!
I’m 68 this month. That’s a big number, and like most people my age, I don’t think I look or act like an old woman. But my husband and I are on lock down because of Covid-19. All old people are told to shelter in place, particularly those who have medical issues, like my husband does.
That’s scary as hell. Suddenly, all the things I took for granted are not so common: health, shopping for groceries, toilet paper.
Because I’m a science fiction fan, I have loads of chilling stories to fuel any fear this warrior woman thought she was immune to. So now I must draw from my personal reserves to stay calm, as the counties around me go on a forced lock-down.
Mindfulness is keeping me sane. Getting out of auto pilot is keeping me healthy.
Are you operating on auto-pilot? We can sometimes drive for miles “on auto pilot,” without really being aware of what we are doing. Often this is how we go through our lives, unattached to our surroundings and even to tasks.
By becoming aware of our thoughts, feelings and how our body feels, we get to make choices about what we want to experience and how we want that experience to affect us!
We gain this awareness by paying attention to where our attention is focused!
There are many mindfulness techniques, but this one is great for anytime and anywhere. Just for today, try this when you feel yourself becoming anxious or fearful. Take a deep breath, visualize it filling your lungs and hold it for a second. Slowly release it and ‘see’ the air pass through your lips as you release and take another long slow breath. Feel the air enter your nostrils, and hit the back of your throat. Is it cool? Can you feel it behind your eyes?
Inhale, exhale, rising, falling. Drop the shoulders. Relax the brows. Relax the jaw.
I this for as long as needed. It sometimes takes me only 3 full breaths before I’m ‘ba’aack’ in my body and noticing what actually IS happening and not thinking about what MIGHT be. If anxiety returns in a few minutes? Just do it again. You’re redirecting your focus from outward to inward.