We have an average of 48.6 thoughts per minute. 10% conscious, 90% subconscious.
Silence allows us to witness our thoughts, which helps us to see what’s happening in our minds more accurately and logically, without being caught up with the noise and chatter. Our course of action then becomes more mindful and less haphazard, more responsive rather than reactive.
It’s easy to get caught up in emotions and end up catastrophising the situation.
Your heart rate increases, breath shallows, mind is clouded and you want to take action, or your completely freeze! Now, this is when you really need to hit pause. This is when you really need to breathe. This is when stillness and your breath can work their magic.
Find a quiet, safe spot. Take a seat. Carry all your emotions, thoughts and desires with you; you are human. Be kind to yourself.
1. Sit up tall
Create space for your lungs to move as you breathe. You might also find it more comfortable to sit on a cushion.
2. Take deep breaths in and out through your nose.
As you inhale, visualise your breath flowing smoothly into your nose, to the crown of your head and down your spine, then coming back the same way as you exhale.
3. Count your breath. ‘Inhale, exhale, one. Inhale, exhale, two. Inhale, exhale three…’ all the way to ten. Then start over again.
If you get distracted (it is normal!), start again from one.
Keep doing step 3 until you feel your mind getting clearer and less cluttered.
Setting an alarm to your desired time is also a good idea, just so that your mind doesn’t keep drifting to the clock. When I first started making this practice a daily routine, I set only three minutes each morning, yet the payoffs were tremendous. I slowly increased my quiet sitting duration minute by minute. No pressure, no competition.
There’s nothing else to do. Just breathe and enjoy the silence.
So set your timer, sit, pause, breathe and simply be.
For more meditations, check out the rest of my Be Here Now Mindfulness Series.