Calm your mind in everyday life, says Megan Bardsley, an emotional wellbeing and equine therapy practitioner at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, in the hinterland of Queensland’s Gold Coast. “Life is going to throw us into overwhelming flurries. Screens, phones – we’re all over the place. And we have to be,” she says. “But we have to stop that frenetic multi-tasking that has got us spinning.”
Take a moment to be where you are: Stand. Look at your feet. Take a breath and ask yourself, what, right now, do I need to do? One thing at a time. And let that one thing be the focus. You’ve got to be able to say, “I’ll come back to you.”
Take a long, slow belly breath and let it out with a soft sigh. We’re not in flight or fight. That life-giving breath helps balance us quickly, and the breath out helps calm the nervous system, balancing us.
Notice what your body’s doing when it’s frenetic. Are you leaning forward, eyes bugging out at the computer? You don’t have to be rigid to be working. We can actually be quite relaxed in the body, with the eyes resting back. Sit on your sitting bones, or stand with a gentle softening of the knees.
When you’ve got that adrenaline surge, you can’t just “Om” it away. So get up and go into the bathroom (or anywhere where people can’t see you) and air-bash for three minutes. Bounce, shake, get that energy moving. Don’t go for a run – that’s too much movement, and will put you into flight mode. Instead, just get that energy moving.
Focus on the randomness of nature. The fractal patterns of nature diffuse and stimulate different hormones in our brain, instead of looking at straight, artificial lines all the time. Putting a pot plant in your room can also help, and lets your eyes focus on different depths.