Yesterday I discussed using visual aids, such as pictures or memories, to help you find peace in a stressful situation.
Another tool that I use on a daily basis is music. Music is the key to the soul and there are many different approaches that you can take.
For me I love listening to calming soundscapes, nature melodies, classical piano or anything relaxing and calming in its tone. I also turn to meditation or yoga style playlists when looking to relax or focus.
I basically listen to music wherever I go. In the car, at home, in the gym, shopping and just about everywhere else.
Music is often a perfect backdrop to images. Having a visual aid or stimulus combined with music intensifies the calming effect. Whilst looking at your favourite ocean seascape or summers meadow why not have the music playing also. An ocean soundscape of waves gently lapping at the shore or a gentle summers breeze blowing though a wheat field and birds calling in the background.
These sort of nature melodies can be very relaxing and give you that break from day to day life you may need.
Now having said that it comes nowhere near to the real thing. If you can actually get outside and into the very thing we are trying to create in our minds then even better. The benefits of being outside and enjoying these natural landscapes and oceanscapes is unmeasurable.
There is a Japanese practice called shinrin yoku or Forest Bathing. The simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around you whilst breathing deeply can help both adults and children de-stress and boost health and wellbeing in a natural way.
Using breathing techniques whilst being mindful intensifies the meditation or state of calm that you can achieve. This allows us to re-connect with ourselves. Feeling our breath entering and exiting our body can be very reassuring.
The breath gives us a place to concentrate on and can be our safety net. When we imagine our breath we can forget about all other worries. It is through being mindful and concentrating simply on the ‘now’ that we can calm our body and mind.
Often the stress or anxiety comes from things that have happened or are going to happen. By concentrating on ‘now’ and forgetting the past and the future we are able to find a slice of calm. It’s then taking this feeling into our day and week and month and creating a different approach or outlook to life that makes us feel in control of our own being and not like a puppet being pushed and pulled around.
Mindfulness allows us to take control and plan our own course through our lives. The more we practice the better we get. The better we get the more we can benefit.
Try some different soundscapes or types of music and see what helps you to relax. Combine this with the images as discussed and throw in some breathing techniques.
I will discuss different breathing techniques tomorrow. If you can’t wait then simply look back on my blog for inspiration.
Find your calm.