Mindfulness Activity #118
Using Mindfulness to Upregulate or Downregulate
Good Morning. One of the main benefits of mindfulness I sell to people is the fact that when you train your mind with practice, you can control your attention and your mood instead of having your day determined by negative thoughts or unpleasant emotions. When you deepen your mindfulness practice, you will find that you can choose practices suited to your personal needs, to major events in your life as they arise, and to your personal preferences.
For example, if you have trouble sleeping, a nightly relaxation mindfulness practice makes sense to include in your routines. If you wake up groggy and have a hard time getting the day started, you might choose mindfulness with coffee. If you wake up with anxiety or anger, there are practices for you. We have done many of these practices since March.
Today, your task will be to identify if you are feeling the need for increased alertness and energy or a more calming practice. So begin by observing your current state.
Personally, I usually wake up alert, cheerful, and ready for the day. You could say I am a morning person. Today, I’m feeling a little slow and tired. I’m going to choose an energizing mindfulness practice.
If you are waking up anxious or overwhelmed or irritated, try the second practice link below designed for equanimity, defined as “mental calmness and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.” In Buddhism equanimity is a steady conscious realization of the transience of reality. It means we are able to be in stressful situations without being swept up in them, we develop a deep inner calmness or wisdom, like a tree with deep roots that is able to withstand rain and wind.
Mindfulness for energy:
Take a brisk mindful walk or click the following link for a visualization practice for energy
Mindfulness for equanimity:
Throughout the day, do your best to pay attention to your energy level, your attention, and your awareness of your emotional state. Try to use your breath to upregulate and energize if you are feeling tired or to relax your body and mind if you are feeling overwhelmed or irritated.
Have a good day!