Your mind is a product of your process: it is a repository of every thought you’ve had, memory you’ve entertained, and desire you hold. Thoughts grow when you pay attention to them. The more you resist a thought, the more it grows. It’s important to feed yourself nourishing language if you want to improve the mind’s dialogue. Even more empowering, is when you can control your mind and direct your own thoughts. The following four practices are incredible to help build a healthier, helpful, and peaceful mind:
1. Pranayama (breathing exercises): Pranayama functions to calm our nervous system, create a sense of safety within our body, and move stuck energy through us. A calm body promotes a calm mind. The aim of pranayama is to reach the point where the incoming and outgoing breath is deep, calm, and smooth/rhythmic.
2. Yoga: Yoga means “union.” Yoga is when mind, body, and spirit are in alignment. Yoga helps one develop presence in the present moment. We move from the hamster-wheel of thoughts to noticing right now. To move with your breath in full awareness is yoga.
3. Meditation: Meditation is the environment one creates for one’s Self. By sitting and stilling the inner and outer body, we can feel the presence of our true nature: silence. With regular practice, one learns to observe the dialogue of the mind, knowing they are separate from it.
4. Journaling: Journaling provides an outlet to help empty the mind and what it may be holding (e.g., narratives related to fear, excitement, confusion, etc). Journaling is a practice that can also help us be present as it is multimodal: we are simultaneously using the senses of touch, audition, and oration.
Cheers to you and your health!