We are living in stressful times. Our brains go into threat mode very quickly, and it’s right that we take what is happening very seriously without panicking. By practising these exercises you can keep yourself calm and effective in times of crisis in order that you can look after yourselves, your family and your community. Think of this as physio for the mind. Frequent practice will yield results!
1. Soothing Rhythm Breathing
I usually start with this when I am doing compassion work with clients. It really helps people to sit with their breathing. A definite self-compassion must! This exercise can be as short or as long as you want to make it but I recommend you do it for at least a couple of minutes. It’s something you can do anywhere. Click here.
2. Loving Kindness Meditation
Kristin Neff is the leading academic in the self-compassion field. I can highly recommend everything on her site below. I recommend you particularly start with the Loving Kindness Meditation. Try it out here.
3. Compassionate Body Scan
These are very troubled times and we are all getting overwhelmed by the part of our brain which analyses and predicts what is going to happen. A body scan is a good way of helping you get out of your head. Find it here.
4. Safe Place Imagery
Generating a strong and safe image in your brain can have a strong soothing effect on your emotions and body. The brain cannot tell the difference between something we really see and what we imagine vividly. Amazing eh? That means you can use your brain and imagery to soothe yourself very effectively. Plus this is read by a lovely man with a very soothing Aussie accent. Makes me feel like I am sitting on Bondi Beach…click here to transport yourself.
5. Compassionate Image And Compassionate Community
This is a beautiful exercise. It helps you develop a compassionate image you can imagine comforting and soothing you. By practising imagining giving and receiving compassion you will strengthen your brain pathways geared to compassion. The second part of this exercise is especially relevant now - it focuses on connecting compassionately with others to address suffering. Doesn’t get more relevant than that right now. Find it here.
I really hope you find these exercises useful. Let me know in the comments below or email me email@example.com and I am also hanging about on instagram @drsam_akbar.