Inhale the future, exhale the past. Somewhere between the two, is now, the present moment. Focus your attention on your breath as it enters and exits the body to help you stay present, experience life in real time. Being able to gain, and maintain focus, without drifting forward or backward in our minds, has many benefits. Try these five breathing techniques to calm the mind, center, and draw your attention in.
Visualization is a cognitive dress rehearsal. It's becoming who you hope to be, reaching new heights, personally or professionally, through intentional, repetitive thinking. By using visualization techniques, we're able to harness the power of our minds to dramatically influence our behavior and self-perception. Seeing truly is believing when it comes to achieving goals.
We're all, to some degree, students of the social world. We've spent a lifetime, consciously and nonconsciously, attempting to uncover meaningful patterns, and extract insights, from our interactions with others. We watch one another, puzzled at times by the behavior we observe. We continuously search for explanations that might reveal other people's underlying motives. To some degree we're hoping that our interpretations might allow us to predict what will happen during future exchanges. In other words, we've all used a sociological lens, from time to time.
Quotes are a source of motivation, inspiration, relaxation, contemplation, and also courage. They can be held in one's memory, or placed somewhere they'll be seen regularly. Sometimes people put quotes on their bathroom mirror or fridge, others frame them and give them a home on work desks or walls. A good quote can help someone through emotional turbulence or support them as they push toward their physical limits. Perhaps, most importantly, quotes express complex messages, universal truths, and deep emotions, clearly and simply, in ways that resonate and move us.
Knowing what we are feeling, sooner rather than later, also reduces the likelihood of responding in ways we later regret. We are able to remain calm, to pause and reflect on our choices, rather than having emotional outbursts. Understanding what stage, or wave, of an emotion we are experiencing is also valuable. If we are just beginning to feel an emotion, a few deep breaths may allow us to sit with it, without feeling overwhelmed. If we are in the later stages, and the waves of emotion are crashing in. We may need to take a walk, run, or cry.
Our body is typically reacting to stress long before we're consciously aware of it. As we become more adept at observing ourselves, we cultivate our ability to identify the early signs of stress. Regular meditation increases our awareness of both physical sensations, and the ways that our mind and body interact.
We have more willpower available to us when we are motivated and determined. We are more committed when what we're striving for is tied to our ideal identity, who we would like our future self to be. It's important to ask whether our goals are actually ours. At times, we get caught up in what we feel we "should" want, or what others want for us.