Do we need to stop, drop and chill TF out?
From recent studies showing that Americans experience more anxiety than ever before, it’s a strong indication that we all can do a little better when it comes to our mental health. Said studies are showing that young people are experiencing thoughts of suicide, anxiety and stress more than any previous generation. The culprit: striving for perfection.
In a research paper by the Psychological Bulletin, researchers defined perfectionism as “a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations.” The study concluded that young people feel more pressure than ever to reach for impossible standards. And when they find they can’t achieve them, they start spiraling.
I can totally related. In our social media-laden culture, one in which shows only the positive and glamorous sides of people’s lives, it’s difficult not to compare your life to others. While some influencers, friends, or acquaintances seem to have it all, what we need to realize is that they probably experience the same aspects of life that we do. It’s this vicious cycle that doesn’t seem to end.
And I’m totally guilty of that, too. In many ways, I feel I have yet to achieve success and when I compare myself to others, I tend to spiral into a deep, dark hole. It makes me feel that I’m not worthy, that I don’t deserve more, or even shameful for having these ideas. Of course, once we get out of these dangerous pits of despair, we realize just how untrue these sentiments are. We are definitely worthy. We deserve love. We deserve all success.
Sometimes, to get there, we need to put our brain on ice. It needs to seriously chill out. With so many neurons and brain waves spit firing at all times of the day, it’s no wonder you feel your thoughts are muddied or decisions unclear.
To celebrate National Relaxation Day today, I turned to my friend, Sah D’Simone, a wellness coach and healer, who just released his book, 5-Minute Daily Meditations, to provide the EASIEST way to relax your brain and quiet your thoughts. The meditation guru tells me just how important it was to relax, as it allows us to choose where we place our focus.
“This is the magic sauce for a happy life,” he tells me. “We are not reacting and getting totally hooked on everything that gets thrown at us, or taken aback by every little thought that arises. Relaxation is a practice, and when we have that as a default tool— we can gently return into our hearts and become creative on how we interact with life.”
Below, he provides us with the EASIEST meditation to get your anxiety-ridden thoughts to go silent, put stresses on hold and to become a more powerful, happy, satisfied individual. FYI: I just tried this and wow, it works.
Follow the below for the easiest – and most effective – meditation.
“The easiest and most powerful way to meditate is to rest your attention on the feeling of the breath in your body, having that as your home-base for your practice.
And when you give the mind the simple task of paying attention to the breath, you’ll of course become distracted with thoughts of the future, the past, etc.. and the practice is to do your best effort to not get hooked on the distractions that come up and for the duration of your mediation, just keep coming back over and over again to the sensations of breathing.
Meditation and breath are short cuts to relaxing the body and mind. You can train your mind to allow stressors that come up like negative feeling and thoughts to move through you more quickly without leaving an after taste. Therefore you can remain in a more equanimous state of mind, AKA relaxed mind.
A simple practice is to take a breath in for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of six, and breathe out for a count of six. This will switch OFF the part of the nervous system that perceives negative thoughts as threats, and switch ON the part of the nervous system that slows down the heart rate inviting relaxation and ease. Then treat your mind with a few compassionate words, like I’m good, I’m safe, I’m happy, I’m healthy…You must change the way you speak to yourself when no one is watching. Speak kindly to yourself this will reconnect you with your soul.
DO NOT be discouraged by how many times your attention gets carried away. Just let go, and come back to the home-base and begin again. The by product of coming back to the feeling of the breath over and over again, is a clear mind, emotional agility, more focus, creativity, joy, compassion and the ability to see beauty in everything and everyone.”