The LifeUp Mindfulness Challenge: Day 8

Recover your mind

DISARM: Discover, Identify, Separate, Allow, Recover, Master

R is for RECOVER - recover your mind

Education

Over thinking and over analysing situations can strain our mental muscle. This can lead to tension headaches and stress, decreasing our effectiveness. This strain also builds up over time and our energy reserves can be depleted, potentially leading to burnout.

To avoid this, take a regular mental break every 90 to 120 minutes.  Step away from whatever is driving your thoughts such as your inbox or your life situation. Not sure how to do this? Read on!


Activity

"Thought Break"

Take five power breaths.

As always, remember to BREATHE!

  • Breathe Rhythmically, Evenly And, Through the Heart Everytime

To avoid any feelings of discomfort or shortness of breath use 'ujjayi' (yogic) breathing during your thought break . With your mouth closed, inhale and exhale through your nose while gently constricting your throat muscles. If you are doing this correctly, you might sound a bit like you’re very gently snoring!

Ensure a proper exhale to give your lungs a chance to empty.  Don’t force the inhale, it will happen naturally if you fully exhale. Allow this slow constricted breathing to rebalance the gases in your bloodstream and relax your mind and body. 

Now take your five power breaths as follows:

  • As you breathe in, count in your mind ‘5 in’, and as you breathe out, count ‘5 out”. Breathe in, count ‘4 in’. Breathe out, count ‘4 out’, and so on.
  • Continue the count down to ‘1 out’. If you forget what number you are at or are unsure, restart at 5.
  • The best way to notice if your mind has wandered is to listen to the way you say each number. Listen to the inflection of the count... do you say ‘3 in!!’ or is it more of a ‘3 in.....?’

Once you’ve done the task, give yourself a ‘mini high five’!


Take away

Constant overthinking can strain our mental muscle. So take a regular ‘thought break’.