Do you ever feel that your mind is overloaded with all that you have to do, be and have?
Life as we know it, has evolved to a much faster pace than what we were use to over 50 years ago. With the advances of technology, the way we communicate, the speed of our vehicles, the time pressures of work deadlines and the many other commitments in our lives, it seems that we simply don’t have time to relax and enjoy the moment. In this 21st century, our lives are much busier now, than they ever were. At times I wonder if all these changes and advances are really moving us to where we ultimately want to be, which is to be more peaceful and happy.
We all have experienced how it feels to be stressed out and our mind is full of thoughts of what we need to do or what we should be doing. It can feel that our mind is like a time bomb just ready to explode. We seem to have more demands on us now more than ever, to reach levels of so called success in all areas of our lives however, with all these demands comes a price. At times, it is not unusual for us to feel like an overworked machine. The consequences of experiencing life this way, are usually a lack of clarity, focus and the ability to think rationally about our life.
When we are in a place of losing control of our minds, it can lead us down an unhealthy path of using and abusing substances such as alcohol, drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, etc. as a temporary way to tame and control our minds. These substances normally only provide a temporary fix and never deal with the root cause of our situation. Usually if this lost of control happens over an extended period of time, it can lead a person to a place of having a nervous breakdown and ultimately they can end up having a physical or mental illness.
When we have the ability and the skill to control our minds, we have the power to be peaceful, calm and relaxed no matter what situation we are in. We bring the power back to ourselves as individuals in that whatever the external situation maybe, we can choose to be calm and peaceful. When our minds are balanced, we experience greater clarity, focus, decisiveness and a higher level of rational and creative thinking. The direct result of being in control of our minds is that we experience greater levels of peace, mental and physical health and ultimately happiness.
So you may ask how can I control this monkey mind?
Well one way I have found very effective is the use of a breathing technique called pranayama. It is an ancient yogic breathing technique, whereby you alternate your breathing in and out through your nose. This technique when used on a daily basis will strengthen your mind with improved concentration and mind control, provide deep relaxation to your body and mind and will strengthen your nervous and respiratory system. It will also purify your mind and body.
The specific technique is called Anuloma Viloma which is known as alternative nostril breathing.
The steps are as follows;
- Close your eyes and relax. Sit in this position for a couple of minutes till you settle down.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb
- Breath in from your left nostril for the count of 8. Hold your breath for a couple of seconds.
- Open right nostril and close left nostril with middle and ring finger.
- Breathe out from your right nostril for the count of 4.
- Breathe in from your right nostril for the count of 8 and close your right nostril.
- Open left nostril and breathe out for the count of 4.
- Repeat again, steps 1 through 7 for 9 rounds initially and gradually building it up to 9 rounds by 3 with a 30 second break in between each 9 rounds.
- It is recommended to do this practice 4 times a day, once first thing in the morning, last thing at night and two other times during the day.
- Also when doing this practice, hold the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth and this maintains the energy flow / chi in the body.
As always I would love to hear any feedback, suggestions or comments you may have.