All of us need some rest in a form different than sleep or a proper 1 hour long meditation. In this post, I'm sharing a technique that has benefited me in this regard.
Our mind goes through a lot everyday; capturing new information or creating one (ideas, etc) every moment. This happens irrespective of us being conscious of it or otherwise. The case is just like a road with traffic jam with many different cars running over it, every minute. Sometimes a giant, black car and a small, Mr. Bean-ish car, the other time. Here, the giant black car equates to the overwhelming thoughts we encounter in a day. The small car, something like the popular character Mr. Bean used to drive could be thought of as the fickle thoughts in a day. Huff! we encounter countless thoughts in a day.
Hence our mind needs some rest in a form different than sleep or a proper 1 hour long meditation. It needs rest at frequent intervals.
This is a practice wherein we will take a pause from everything that we're doing (no matter how important it is) at frequent intervals throughout our day. More about the intervals below but before that let's focus on the 'Pause' here.
I believe, we will never be able to take the pause unless we consciously try to acknowledge it's importance. Our minds will ask us, 'How is this sudden pause more important than my work at hand?'. So, when our mind is asking us this question, we must make ourselves gently understand: 'This one pause can improve the way I'm handling my work at hand by 3X.' After saying this to yourself immediately withdraw from your desk, etc and sit comfortably to start the 'Pause'.
It could be for 5-10 minutes, after every hour on busy days. Try stretching the pause to 30 minutes after every one hour on easy days (example-weekends).
So what are we actually going to do in these 'Pause (s)'? We'll firstly take a few deep breathe; yes as cliché as it sounds (can't help it, haha) ! After few deep inhalations, we'll keep seeing the thoughts, whichever may arrive. Mostly, these thoughts could be related to our current work at hand or plans about future.
- 'Seeing' the thoughts- Earlier in this article, our thoughts were compared to running cars on a road with traffic. Now, we'll imagine that we're looking at these cars through a window, unbothered. Keep 'seeing' your thoughts unbothered just like random cars on a busy road. Gently allow the thoughts to come and go, do not get mingled with them.
Yes, this jar is the bonus. If you can get a glass jar like this (using which might not be possible everywhere/every time) and use it while taking the pauses, you'll feel very much relaxed. 'Very much' here might even sound underestimating the amount of relaxation one might experience. Such jars are light weight and easy on our palms while we hold it.
How to use it?
Gently lift the empty, unlid glass jar and place it below one of your ears and close to your neck. Now gently tilt your head towards the mouth of the jar. You will hear something. This sound will be better than all blue noises that are created artificially. This sound will also help you focus on your pauses efficiently.
Keep practicing traffic control even while on vacations and I bet this will only increase the quality of your off days.