Here’s a creative and simple way to beat the blues. It works on the principle that what you say to yourself affects the way you feel and behave.
In this meditative exercise you create your own mantra, (a word or set of words that have positive associations), which you repeat over and over, silently or out loud. This taps into the body’s neural networks and the power of association to induce corresponding states of inner well-being. It’s a great mood lifter and can be an effective way of breaking negative thinking habits. After disengaging from negative thoughts, this process fills the space that’s left with something positive and supportive.
Helpful tips: Let go of expectations and go with the flow, just see what happens instead
- Decide what state you would like to be in (ie: how you would like to feel)
- Choose three or four words that resonate with that state, (single words that have meaning for you rather than a statement are best)
- Allow the words to roll slowly through your mind like a mantra, repeating over and over, for instance: “Calm, Balance, Peace”
- Focus on the emotional and sensory response rather than getting into a discussion with your rational ‘headmind’
- Like a day-dream, allow positive images that support the feelings to come to you
- Observe your response and engage with the experience
This works best whilst walking outside or looking out of the window. As you repeat your mantra, look around you and up to the trees, roof tops and sky.
Directing your focus from your internal world will literally take you out of yourself. By looking upwards and outwards you connect with the larger space outside and it’s likely you’ll experience a corresponding feeling of inner expansiveness. Research also suggests there is a connection between eye position and what part of your brain you use. When your eyes look upwards it’s less likely you are accessing the centres which deal with internal dialogue and introspection.
And remember, each time you give yourself a positive experience you are training your body’s neural pathways and cellular memory to go there again in the future!