For those of you who know me, or have been reading my blog over the last few months, you know I typically keep a positive outlook on life. The glass if ½ full, I look for the good in people and in events. When I share my day with my honey, even my bad days, I find at least 1 or 2 good things to share in order to remember it wasn’t 100% bad. I choose to be positive!
The last few days I have been tired, my nerves have felt a bit frayed and I have been feeling under the weather. When I feel like this, it is all too easy to get sucked into the black hole of negativity. One negative thought leads to another into a downward spiral and one bad feeling leads to another. It gets harder and harder to find the positive in any situation. Do you ever feel like that? Do you always feel like that?
Over the last few days I have been finding it almost impossible to relax during my quiet time. My mind just wouldn’t stop spinning and I would get distracted and give up. I am happy to report this morning it finally stopped. I was able to take my quiet time, identify what I was feeling and I was able to get my mind to STOP spinning and spinning. Oh what a feeling.
Right about now you are probably asking yourself – what the heck is quiet time?
For me, quiet time is simply this: First thing in the morning I sit on the couch with both feet firmly planted on the floor. I close my eyes and focus on my breathing for 10 breaths. Then I just sit quietly for 10-20 minutes. The goal is to quiet my mind – not silence. That would be nice but hey I am no meditation guru.
Does my version of quiet time sound easy?
When I first started to do this the negative self talk in my head would immediately fire a barrage of BS at me and I would jump up and start madly cleaning my house to make it stop. The smallest noise would distract me and I would open my eyes to see what it was. Something would itch and I would stop to scratch it, my cell phone would buzz and I would respond to it. Even the sound of the clock ticking would drive me up a wall. The mind can be a scary place!
Taking this 10-20 minutes for yourself every morning sounds easy, and it is easy – once you get the hang of it. I have learned to keep my phone on silent and I have figured out when I am least likely to be disturbed. I have gotten a lot better at not opening my eyes to check out every little noise and if the urge to scratch the bug bite on my leg simply overcomes me – well I scratch it and continue with my quiet time.
I have been doing this for about 4 years and the benefits are immense. It helps me start every morning in a better frame of mind. I try to keep a pen and paper next to me because although I am attempting to simply be quiet, I often remember things I have forgotten to do and when I am done I can jot them down. I also remember things I would like to do but have not prioritized. This is my opportunity to recharge my brain each day.
Some claim that during this time, new neural pathways are developed in the brain which sounds very scientific – and really good. If new neural pathways get developed when I take my quiet time, then in theory I am always developing better ways of dealing with whatever life throws at me and figuring out different responses to the same triggers that pull me and my little blue kayak off course.
What I have found is that my quiet time can lead to some amazingly simple but powerful AHA moments of insight that have changed the course of my life. I can’t claim an AHA moment of insight occurred this morning but what did occur is I was able to identify how I have been feeling for the last few days and having a word for it gives me the ability to deal with it. I have been feeling a bit TRAPPED.
Now that I understand my tiredness, my frayed nerves, my feeling a bit under the weather – I can deal with it. I can tailor my positive self talk and my positive energy at a specific problem. I am absolutely, positively NOT trapped. I have been trapped in the past and will not allow that to occur again. The shift in my brain has already occured and I feel back on course in my little blue kayak.
I have written about some of my AHA moments of insight in the past and you can check them out here and here. Quiet time is also 1 of the life preservers I tossed at you in the past. Taking quiet time is 1 of the ways I choose happiness every day. It helps keep me paddling in the direction of health, wealth and happiness, one stroke at a time.
If you haven’t tried taking quiet time – give it a shot. I mean seriously what do you have to lose?