How to feel calmer in just five minutes
Five effective, practical ways to bring you more calm in just five minutes, from our Spirit Editor, and Ultimate Wellbeing Expert, Akcelina Cvijetic
Each of these simple practices will enhance your levels of inner serenity
1. PRACTICE A MINDFUL BREATH MEDITATION
One of the easiest ways to calm our mind is by bringing our attention to our breath. Unlike us, who are always running somewhere, our breath does not try to get anywhere, it just moves in and out of the body. We may not always have the luxury of 20 minutes to sit down for a full meditation (I know this only too well having just had weeks full of deadlines!) Instead, we can practice just five minutes of a mindful breath meditate – on the tube, in the office or at home.
Try this one below:
Make yourself comfortable in a chair and close your eyes. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose and mindfully follow its journey inward from your nostrils, into your lungs and down to your belly. Allow it to settle in your belly for a few seconds before you gently release it and mindfully follow it, as it travels back to your lungs, nostrils and out. It does not matter if your mind wanders off in the process- it is its nature to wander. Just acknowledge it, without judgement but instead with loving compassion, and bring your attention, once again back to your breathing. Tuning into the natural flow of breath is instantly calming as it brings us into a full mind-body-spirit alignment.
2. CREATE A CALM ANCHOR
Overwhelm is a sign that our inner and outer world are out of sync. It is a call for better self-nurturing, balance and inner peace. Here is a super effective technique to experience inner calm when you need it the most. The concept of an ‘anchor’ is like a ‘light switch’ you can flick on’ for a flow of comforting emotions whenever you need them. Close your eyes and remember a time you felt really calm, cool and collected. Fully return to it now, remembering how calm you looked, your calm inner voice and the feeling of calm. (If you cannot remember a time from the past, imagine how calm, comfortable and at ease you would like to feel).
Notice which area of your body you feel the inner calm most, place your hands over this area in order to 'anchor' it in the mind and the body. Run through this memory five times until you feel a lovely sensation of relaxation and calm. You will know you have done it well when all you need to do is place your hands over the part of the area of your body you felt it the most (the ‘anchor’ point), and you can easily remember and experience the feelings of calm spreading through your mind and body automatically, once again. Now, imagine taking this calm with you into any situation in life where you need it most, and see yourself handling everything well in a calm, cool, collected and effective manner.
3. KNOW YOUR TRUE WORTH
The social media images portraying 'perfection' can sometimes make us feel like we do not measure up. Know that your looks, weight, success and bank balance do not equal your identity or worth! Your essence is the real truth about you. It always feels valuable, loveable and enough, because our true self-worth is the same today as the day we were born. It is like the essence of a rose which remains untainted even when it is covered with mud or in the middle of winter, when it has no petals but is only a rosehip. It is still and always a rose. Nothing can tarnish the essence and the worth of a rose and it is the same with your beautiful being. It takes five self-appreciations to counteract one judgement or criticism! Therefore, honour your essence by reminding yourself daily of the truth that nothing can ever taint your worth, not even whatever is currently trending!
4. FOLLOW YOUR INNER GPS
The hectic pace of modern life and constant onslaught on our senses can make us feel disconnected and lost at times. Our spirit is our inner GPS that guides us to real happiness and connection, authentic success and true fulfilment. Nurture the needs of your spirit with 'five a day for your soul' – a daily spiritual practice, an enlightening conversation, moments for inspiration, a rendezvous with nature and time for fun. When we do each of these, even five minutes a day, everything in our life re-sets itself organically. We feel soulfully nourished from the 'well of our being', life loves us and all can feel well again.
Every month for the next year, the #360me team will be sharing their baby-steps approach to leading a healthier, happier life – tried, tested, researched and real-life-approved. It’s here for you – to enjoy, to inspire, to guide. Share your #360me journey with us at @psydirector and @psychologiesmagazine.
Find out more in the June issue of Psychologies, out 29th April.