So, here we are. In a totally new situation, with a lot of new challenges. How to study at home? How to become productive with temptations like Netflix, Facebook or your bed so close? How to stay in contact with your friends, study mates and relatives? In the upcoming posts we try to help you with these questions and support you to make the best of it. This time on how to stay calm and take care of yourself.
Insecurity and fear
When your situation changes quickly, you might experience insecurity, anxiety or fear. What will happen now, will I be save, do I have to get moving to prepare for the worst? All these thoughts might be running through your head. And you might wonder, when is it ever going to be quiet up there?
Your brain is like a popcorn machine. It produces thousands of thoughts during the day. To make it worse, the majority of your thoughts is not new. It is said, that almost 80% are old thoughts. And what is not helpful at all, is that the majority of those thoughts are old. They consist of doubts, worries and bad scenarios. So, how to tell this machine to stop?
You are not your thoughts
Let’s be frank: you are not your heart, but you have a heart. You are not your breath, but you have lungs and you do breath. This goes for your brain as well: you have a brain and it produces thoughts. The question is not so much how to stop your thoughts, or how to control them, because this popcorn machine is unstoppable. Therefore the question should be: how can you keep some distance between you and your thoughts, so that they can’t take control of how you feel so much?
Meditation is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it can be really effective to ease your mind. And it can be really simple. You just sit down, relax and follow some brief instructions. Why not give it try? In order to ease your mind in general, but especially when you experience anxious thoughts, doubts or fears, choose one of the three techniques below. Don’t be focussed on the effect, just focus on the exercise itself and on your breath. Breathe deeply, expanding your stomach when exhaling.
#1 Turning head
Sit down in a chair, pretty straight up, rest your back against the back of the chair if you like and put your feet flat on the ground. Look forward.
1. On an exhalation, turn your head to your right.
2. When you start a new inhalation, turn your head to the middle.
3. On the next exhalation, turn your head to your left.
4. When you start an inhalation again, turn your head to the middle.
5. Repeat slowly, following the pace of your breath.
#2 Sit by the river
Sit down or lay down, whatever you prefer.
1. Close your eyes.
2. Imagine you’re sitting along a river.
3. Imagine your thoughts are floating things in the river.
4. See them coming, let them pass you, see them going.
5. When you notice you get carried away by a thought, just look upstream and wait for the next one to float towards you.
Lay down. Relax.
1. Make your inhalation last 9 seconds.
2. Make your exhalation last 9 seconds.
3. Repeat 9 times.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones!