There is no doubt about it. These are extra stressful times across the world as we continue to endure the unknowns of viruses, lock downs, and social deprivation.
Thankfully, we humans have a built in mechanism, thought control, that can help dissipate feelings of overwhelm effectively. But it’s not instant and it takes consistent practice.
The Mindful CAN Method can help big time with your practice…
Effective thought control requires a willing participant and a calm mind.
Thanks to a combination of genetics and life circumstances, some of us have more active thoughts than others. The more over-active our thoughts, the more easily the feeling of stress and overwhelm can take us over.
In addition to a racing mind, genetics help to determine physical reactions to stress as well such as a racing heart, a clenched jaw, stomach issues, headaches, and tense muscles.
Through consistent mindfulness, the mental state of deliberately paying attention to one thing at a time, we can decrease the amount of overwhelm in our day to day lives, regardless of what is going on and calm our mind as well as our physical symptoms.
But you must be patient.
A mindfulness practice can be anything from a walk in nature to a gratitude journal session, or a deliberate meditation. It’s anything that forces you to pay attention to your thoughts and redirect them to the present moment in a calming way.
There are 3 keys to making a mindfulness practice successful; we call it the CAN method. Consistency, Awareness, and Nutrition
1 – CONSISTENCY – Having a mindfulness practice scheduled into your daily life is so important to reap the cumulative effects of calming your mind. Just like exercise, the gains add up and if you skip too many days you start to lose benefits. You can measure your consistent efforts through a mindfulness tracking journal, an app on your phone, or a chart on the wall.
2 – AWARENESS – Awareness involves having reminders surrounding you to ensure mindfulness stays a priority in your life. It is too easy to get lost in the problems of our busy days and most of us need help staying aware of our goals. You can post reinforcing quotes around your home, follow mindfulness social media pages (ours is a great option!) or you can make a goal to read a few pages from a book about mindfulness.
3 – NUTRITION – Healthy thought control requires a healthy brain and this means we need to feed it right. This doesn’t just apply to fruits, vegetables and proper nutrient balance, but also hydration, exercise, and proper rest. Once your brain is fed what it needs, it is significantly easier to do the work of staying present on a more regular basis. This book on the connection between nutrition and stress is a great start to educating yourself on what works best for you.
You CAN do this!
These 3 simple concepts help tremendously to implement a more mindful life. This will help to ensure less anxiety and overwhelm, especially during these tough times.
Don’t wait until the stressful times hit to start these practices. Your best bet is to practice daily, especially when you feel good, to train your brain and prepare if for any stressor that may come your way.
Share the CAN Method with the stressed people in your life to help them cope.
Good luck and HAPPY MINDING!