This article looks at quick and easy mind focusing and breathing exercises that you can use any time, anywhere.
Most of the strategies take less than 5 minutes and they are also very easy to share with your clients. In my work I have found that giving clients techniques that they can use to help themselves encourages them to take responsibility for their own healing processes. It can also take the pressure off you, as a practitioner. So why don’t you try out the simple exercises for yourself and then share them with your clients?
I strongly encourage you to take the time, as you are reading this article to stop and try each one of the strategies as you read about them. It is only by experiencing them for your self that you will discover which techniques work best you. I don’t know which exercise will suit which person so I always teach at least three of them to my clients, so they can discover for themselves, which works best for them.
For each of the following exercises, sit comfortably and focus your attention on your breathing. Watch the breath come in… and go out… for a few moments. As you do any exercise, if your mind starts to wander, as soon as you become aware of its wandering, gently let the thoughts go… and focus your attention back on the space between the breaths.
- Calm and relaxed.
As you focus on the breath, repeat silently to yourself the word “calm” on the in breath and “relaxed” on the out breath. Keep all of your attention focused on those two words, calm and relaxed.
- Watching the space between the breaths.
As you focus on your breathing, become aware of the space at the end of the in breath, before you breathe out again. Focus all of your attention on that space. And then after you have gently exhaled, become aware of the space at the end of the out breath, before you breathe in again.Become aware of the quality of that space – maybe it is peaceful… or still… or calm…. You may wish to extend that space for a moment. Keep your attention focused on that space between the breaths.
- Breathing to the fingers.
Sit down, place your hands on your thighs, with the fingers apart. Now focus all your attention on sending your breath to the tip of the little finger on your left hand. You may feel, or sense, or see or imagine the breath going there, whatever works best for you. Keep sending the breath to the tip of that little finger. You may become aware of a slight tingling or buzzing sensation at the tip of that little finger, or may be you feel nothing at all, and that’s fine too.After a short while you can then focus all of your attention on sending the breath to the very tip of the fourth finger, the ring finger on your left hand. Focus all your attention on watching, feeling, or sensing the breath going there. Then move on to the middle finger, and then the index finger and the thumb. If you have more time you can send the breath to the fingers of the other hand, and some clients have even sent the breath to their toes!
So before you read on, please stop, right now, and try out those three breathing exercises. It is so important to you to find the time, right here, right now, to experiment with these exercises to reduce your stress levels.
The great thing about these breathing exercises is that they can be done any time, anywhere. And remember, the more you practice them, the more quickly they will help you to connect to that deep peaceful place inside yourself.
William Bloom, who has written extensively on Psychic Protection and the Endorphin Effect, considers being grounded as one of the cornerstones of personal safety. The more grounded you are, the more difficult it is to be thrown off centre when in challenging situations or when working with clients. Being grounded or ‘earthed’ helps you to remain steady, stable and secure, whatever is happening. Grounding exercises can also be particularly beneficial for some clients who are nervous, anxious, or feel insecure.
One simple way to ground yourself is to imagine yourself as a tree with your legs as the trunk of the tree. Imagine the roots of the tree extending down from the soles of your feet, deep down into the earth. The further those roots go, deep into the earth, and out the side, the more steady, stable and secure you may feel. It does not matter whether you see or imagine the roots extending down, or whether you feel and sense the roots, just do whatever works for you. I strongly recommend that you stop and try this out right now, before you read on!
It is also helpful to ground yourself while you are working with clients, especially if you sit in a chair, by having both feet flat on the floor and think about your connection to the earth. This will also help the energy to flow more freely down through your spine through all the energy centres.
Some other simple activities in your daily life that help with grounding are: massaging the soles of the feet, gardening, and working with clay. You may also like to experiment with other visualisation exercises, imagining that energy going right, deep down into the earth.
Is Self Care Quite a Challenge for You?
Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to address some of the deeper patterns and beliefs which prevent us from taking really good care of ourselves within this article. So if you are aware of persistent patterns that prevent you from taking the time and space to look after your wider needs, then you may like to consider attending the Your Health 2 work-life balance and stress management workshops where we start to change some of the old, unhelpful beliefs.
2 Suggested Strategies
- Breathing exercises.
Make the commitment to integrate one of the three breathing exercises regularly into your daily life. Use that breathing exercise as many times as possible during the day, while you’re waiting for a patient to come, between clients, even when you are washing up (if you are not breathing to the fingers!) You can use them any time you want to reconnect to that calm, peaceful place within yourself. The more you practice, the quicker and more effective the exercises become.
- Grounding exercises.
While you’re working, connect to energy of the earth. Whether you are sitting (feet flat on the floor) or standing, become aware of the earth beneath your feet. You may like to do the exercise of the tree roots before you start work and again when you finish.