A simple trick to calm your mind

A word from the wise

Gandhi famously said “There’s more to life than increasing its speed”. He may have been on to something there, but it doesn’t seem as if many of us have heeded his advice. Just because he didn’t sit behind a laptop and attend board meetings doesn’t mean his advice isn’t as relevant today as it ever was.

A global addiction

‘Busyness’ feels good to many of us. I’ll count myself in to that group, as I used to be addicted to doing. It was the only way I knew how to shield myself from my constant negative thoughts. I used to feel that without my sacred to-do lists I’d collapse into a pile of clothes and smoke like the wicked witch in the wizard of Oz.

Stop the ride I wanna get off

With many organisations operating with leaner workforces there’s more and more pressure being mounted on individuals to work at a faster pace and get more done. In evolutionary terms this change in the way society works has happened in the blink of an eye and if we’re honest many of us are either struggling to adapt, or good at pretending we’re well adapted to it. Put simply, we’re just not built for this much information coming our way.

Step into my laboratory

I’ve got a question for you. When was the last time you deliberately sat still for more than two minutes, and did nothing? In fact, lets try a little experiment… I want you to close your eyes and slowly count backwards from 20 to zero. Go on, step outside that comfort zone…

Did you survive?

How did that feel? Was it acceptable to you or did it feel uncomfortable? In my experience most people struggle with that feeling at first. Its just not the done thing in the modern age to not always be doing or achieving something.

A simple route to the mind

What we do with our body affects our mind, and what we do with the mind affects our body. So in order to still the mind one option we have is to still the body. This is one of the many reasons meditation is so good for us, it requires us to drop all of the distractions and just sit still for a bit.

I’ll leave you in your own capable hands

So, now that you’ve dipped your big toe in a little I want to challenge you to take five minutes out of your day today at some point and go and try to sit totally still for two minutes. Yes, two whole minutes. Find a chair, a bench outside, sit in your car, or even escape to a cubicle in the loo. Pay attention to how uneasy this makes you feel to sit still if you’re a busy body. But sit with that discomfort and notice what’s going on in your mind.

Say no to Jeremy

Think of this as two minutes of you-time, that will help to keep stress levels in check. The more stress we experience the more still time we need. Remember, a still body results in a more still mind. Otherwise we can end up signed off work with stress and marvelling at the personalities on the Jeremy Kyle show each morning.

Jonathan Pittam

Mental health & resilience trainer

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