This is a simple and effective one for anxious moments
Breaths need to be deep and from the diaphragm or belly area. When we are anxious and in a state of high mental and physical arousal, we breathe from the chest and neck area, quick shallow breaths.
1. A mindful cup of tea / coffee. Slow down and be aware of all the movements and actions that go into this simple every day task. Filing the kettle, the sound of the water from the tap, the ‘click’ of the on switch, the gradual increase in noise of the heating element warming the water. Watch the steam as it leaves the kettle. Notice the feel of the mug in your hands, is there a pattern on the mug or is it a solid colour? Feel the weight of the kettle in your hand. Watch the water as it pours out onto the tea bag, tea leaves or coffee grounds. Pay attention to the aroma of the tea or coffee as it reaches your nostrils. If you take milk become aware of the colour and smell of the liquid as it leaves the container and splashes onto the hot drink. Sit down for a few minutes and really engage in the taste of your drink. Every time your mind wanders away with busy or negative ‘self-talk’, gently guide it back to the enjoyment of your tea/coffee. Resist the temptation to do anything else whilst you fully engage in drinking your beverage. Notice how that feels for you.
2. Take a short walk. If you can, go outside. Walk around the block or if possible to a local green space. Just 5 minutes outside in the fresh air can bring worries sharply into perspective. If you can’t get outdoors, can you walk to another part of the building? Changing scenery helps break the unhelpful stress response of ‘fight, flight, freeze’. Movement can aid creativity and is known to shift ‘writers block’ and other moments of ‘freeze’.
Be gentle, mindful and slow with all your movements, particularly around the neck and back areas.
Step 1 – Awareness
Step 2 – Gathering and focusing attention
Step 3 – Expanding attention
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A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’
2 in 3 barristers feel that showing signs of stress equals weakness