We are distracted. The world around us is fast-paced. There is someone trying to grab our attention for SOMETHING. Anything really. You probably already received a notification that you rather check than to continue reading.
But I encourage you to take ownership of your focus! Be in control of what holds your attention. And I really encourage you to make yourself the focus.
Let me explain. Our body’s speak to us. It tells us when something is wrong and when something is right. You ever get that butterfly feeling when you are around someone you adore? That is your Central Nervous System speaking to you. What do you think it’s saying?
What about when you are around someone and you get real anxious. Uneasy. Something just feels off? What is your Nervous System saying now? Do you take the time to pay attention to those feelings? Or do you disregard it as something fleeting and go on to the next distraction?
I encourage you to take the time to pay attention to those warning signs when they arise. Check in with yourself when you feel a shift in your “spirit”. Pay attention to what happened before the shift. How did you respond? Was the shift a direct response or a delayed response to what occurred? I would even ask you to journal about it to become more connected to yourself and how you react to different experiences happening in your life.
One thing that has really helped me become more connected with myself is yoga.
TIP # 1 Go Within (Close Your Eyes)
During my classes I intentionally close my eyes to go within. It takes away the distraction of others being around. It ’s one less “distraction.” Aside from that I am able to focus on myself. The benefit to closing your eyes is the literal cutoff of 1 sense. The brain uses 50% of it’s brain power to interpret vision. Closing your eyes allows for you to have 50% of your brain power back for focusing on yourself. That’s powerful!
TIP # 2 Hand to Heart Pose
My favorite yoga pose is Hand to Heart. You literally take one hand (or both) and place it on your heart. This gesture alone allows you to connect with yourself with touch. Another one of our five senses. I take it a step further. With my eyes closed and my hand to my heart, I intentionally quiet my mind to feel my heart beating through my chest. One more touch added! This is where the gratitude sets in for me. I don’t have to do a single thing for my heart to beat. God does that for me. And it allows me to see that not only am I here, living and breathing, but I am not in control of it at all. GOD IS!
TIP # 3 BREATHE
Listen…if you haven’t taken time to just breathe…what are you waiting for? In yoga with eyes closed, maybe your hand is still on your heart, or maybe we have transitioned to another pose, but we add to that breath. Intentionally breathing deeply can help reset your entire mood! Deep breathing can help reduce anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and helps lower cortisol levels (stress hormone). You ever been UPSET, and fund your natural response was a huge deep breath?? That was your nervous system trying to help you out! Or in turn, ever been UPSET, and were breathing quickly with short pauses in between? Only making you get more upset?? The was your cortisol levels increasing! Pay attention to how you respond next time during s stressful moment…then breathe deeply.
TIP # 4 Journal
We often don’t want to sit with our own thoughts. We like to be distracted by what other people are doing and what their thoughts are on something. STOP THAT! Some of us are doing things we hate solely because someone else suggested it. Take some time to sit with yourself. Sit with your thoughts. Right them down to get familiar with them, To connect with yourself. Understand yourself. It may be awkward at first. But it’s worth it. As you learn to connect with yourself more intentionally, your journaling shifts. The conversation within the journal shifts. The ability to connect with yourself will shift as well.
Even if you are not into yoga, you can still do all these things! You don’t have to be on a mat to accomplish this. You can be at work sitting at your desk. You can be sitting in your car. The point is, this can be done anywhere. It’s time we put aside some of the distractions, and connect with ourselves.
To much success and happiness!