Once you have practiced mindfulness meditation for a while you may find it very helpful to do ‘informal’ mindfulness pauses during the day which follow the same pattern but abbreviated. Here’s how it goes:
- Stop what you’re doing; if possible, find a calm place where you can be alone and not distracted.
- This mindfulness pause is your invitation to slow down and restore your OK-ness.
- Take one deep breath, another with nasal focused breathing, another with progressive tension from toes to skull, release, another deep breath with focus on relaxing.
- Visualize: “I am calm. Like the eye of the hurricane, I maintain this OK-ness in the midst of all the activity around me.”
- Regain awareness of yourself and your body. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe naturally… Starting with the inhalation, count each breath and focus on air moving through your nostrils. Say “I am here. This is now. I will just be here now. I’ll let my thoughts and feelings be and then let them go”. Connecting with “who I am” feelings allows you to regain awareness of who you want to be.
- This mindfulness pause has provided the foundation and inspiration from which you will return to the world and extend your practice into the rest of your life.
By learning to be in a mindfulness mode more often, it is possible to develop a new tendency that helps to weaken old, unhelpful and automatic reactivity. For anger problems, these old tendencies can often involve being overly preoccupied with thinking and feeling about others, yourself, or your situation in a negative way. Mindfulness training does not aim to immediately control, remove, or fix this unpleasant experience. Rather, it aims to develop a skill to place you in a better position to break free of or not ‘buy into’ these unhelpful thoughts or feelings that cause problems and prevent positive action.