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How to 'Anchor' to Inner Calm

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi! Welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. So today, I'm going to share a practice with you that will help you stay calm under pressure, and help you unwind stress, anxiety, and negativity — it's called Right-Left One Breath. So first, a little bit of context. In any given moment, we have two basic dimensions you could say to our present moment experience. We have primary experience, which is our sense perceptions — what you can feel, see, hear, taste, and smell, also known as our direct experience.

Then we have our secondary experience. Secondary experience is the thoughts that we have about our primary experience. All the meanings, stories, and judgments that we make up in our minds. So, let's say that you're driving a car. So, your primary experience might be the feeling of your hands on the steering wheel, the feeling of your feet on the floor, the pedals, and seeing the other cars around you, hearing the sounds.

And then let's say you see lots of other stopped cars, so you have to stop. You're in a traffic jam. So, your primary experience is this, it's the, the car is stopped and you can hear and see those things. So, in this kind of situation though, what kinds of thoughts often come in? 'Oh my God, I might be late. They're going to be angry at me.

Maybe they'll fire me.' 'Oh, this is horrible. God, I'm such an idiot. Why did I come this way? I can't believe this.' And when we think these kinds of thoughts, we often start to become stressed, irritated, anxious, and negative. And these are all forms of what we would call psychological suffering. And there's an old saying — 'pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional', and that's true.

So in our primary experience, sometimes unpleasant or painful things happen. We can't avoid that. But the psychological suffering created by unhelpful thoughts, that's optional. We do have a choice and ability to unwind or even completely end that kind of suffering. So how do we do that? One way to untangle from unhelpful thoughts is by anchoring your awareness back in your primary experience, back in your sense perceptions.

This gets you out of your head and back into a mindful awareness of what is. And you can do this with this practice: Right-Left One Breath. He's how you do it. Anytime you're feeling caught up in your head, just bring your awareness down into your feet. Just feeling the sensations in the soles of your feet, the right, the left, and then you bring your awareness to your breath and you feel your breath as you take one breath in and one breath out.

Now, your awareness is back in your primary experience and this only takes about 10 seconds. So if you find yourself frustrated, scared, anxious, or caught up in your head, just remember and give this a try now. It's feeling into the feet, right, left and now, one breath in, and out. Just notice how you're feeling. So no matter where you find yourself, no matter what happens, you can use this practice to calm and ground you.

And in today's meditation, we're going to continue using our senses as an, a way of anchoring our awareness in mindfulness, instead of being hooked up in our unhelpful thoughts.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

How to 'Anchor' to Inner Calm

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi! Welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. So today, I'm going to share a practice with you that will help you stay calm under pressure, and help you unwind stress, anxiety, and negativity — it's called Right-Left One Breath. So first, a little bit of context. In any given moment, we have two basic dimensions you could say to our present moment experience. We have primary experience, which is our sense perceptions — what you can feel, see, hear, taste, and smell, also known as our direct experience.

Then we have our secondary experience. Secondary experience is the thoughts that we have about our primary experience. All the meanings, stories, and judgments that we make up in our minds. So, let's say that you're driving a car. So, your primary experience might be the feeling of your hands on the steering wheel, the feeling of your feet on the floor, the pedals, and seeing the other cars around you, hearing the sounds.

And then let's say you see lots of other stopped cars, so you have to stop. You're in a traffic jam. So, your primary experience is this, it's the, the car is stopped and you can hear and see those things. So, in this kind of situation though, what kinds of thoughts often come in? 'Oh my God, I might be late. They're going to be angry at me.

Maybe they'll fire me.' 'Oh, this is horrible. God, I'm such an idiot. Why did I come this way? I can't believe this.' And when we think these kinds of thoughts, we often start to become stressed, irritated, anxious, and negative. And these are all forms of what we would call psychological suffering. And there's an old saying — 'pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional', and that's true.

So in our primary experience, sometimes unpleasant or painful things happen. We can't avoid that. But the psychological suffering created by unhelpful thoughts, that's optional. We do have a choice and ability to unwind or even completely end that kind of suffering. So how do we do that? One way to untangle from unhelpful thoughts is by anchoring your awareness back in your primary experience, back in your sense perceptions.

This gets you out of your head and back into a mindful awareness of what is. And you can do this with this practice: Right-Left One Breath. He's how you do it. Anytime you're feeling caught up in your head, just bring your awareness down into your feet. Just feeling the sensations in the soles of your feet, the right, the left, and then you bring your awareness to your breath and you feel your breath as you take one breath in and one breath out.

Now, your awareness is back in your primary experience and this only takes about 10 seconds. So if you find yourself frustrated, scared, anxious, or caught up in your head, just remember and give this a try now. It's feeling into the feet, right, left and now, one breath in, and out. Just notice how you're feeling. So no matter where you find yourself, no matter what happens, you can use this practice to calm and ground you.

And in today's meditation, we're going to continue using our senses as an, a way of anchoring our awareness in mindfulness, instead of being hooked up in our unhelpful thoughts.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

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