Having been meddling in the practice of mindfulness for the past few months in an attempt to reduce anxiety and stressors, I’ve come across some nice little exercises that with (regular) practice actually do help. I’m particularly enjoying one I was shown this week, which uses mental visualisation to help move anxious feelings and thoughts along;
You’re standing by a stream, watching the water flow by. On the surface of the water are many leaves, floating down the stream. No one leaf has any particular significance–they all just float by. The leaves represent the many random thoughts that flow through your mind in a day. Now visualise that your intrusive thought, or worry, is one of these leaves–watch it float past and disappear. There’s no need to focus on that one leaf–just let it float on by, out of your sight and out of your awareness….
And so it goes on – as you assign a leaf to any thought or feeling that is worrying you and simply imagine it floating down the stream, you can definitely notice the tension leaving your body. I like to do any of these meditation or mindfulness practices in a quiet, secure place where I can completely relax – laying on the cool floor under a fan is particularly tranquil. It’s about your own journey though, so you need to find the right space and energy that works for you – whether it’s sitting on the beach at sunrise or a balcony at dusk. Find your peaceful place and zone out, even if it’s for a couple of minutes every day – there’s no excuse for not making time for yourself.
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ~Amit Ray
Photo credits – zeebachi & templeofleaves