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Daily rituals to help your zen

· zen,meditation,live in the flow

Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction. -Rumi

Life. It can be extremely busy. Packed with so many things to do, when all you want to do is lie back in bed and pull up the covers. So how do you get the zen back in your life. That laughing joy that you felt as a child. Even while still juggling a hundred plates and trying to keep them all in the air.

There are so many self help books that are wonderful and hopefully one of those sings to you, but in the meantime, let me share what has worked for me. Having worked in an office for more years than I can count, I found that I needed more than just one thing to help combat the day to day stress and the constant anxiety. 

Meditation. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen me talk in detail about meditation. I love meditation as a tool. It is what helps keep me calm. However if you are in the churn, then the thought of meditation might feel a little too much. 

You may notice that during the day you sigh a lot. This could be because you are breathing shallowly.  I would advise starting with deep breathing. Start small. Take a deep breath, fill your lungs (let them sing with gratitude), hold the breath for a moment and then expel the breath. Do this three times. 

Also start to notice throughout the day when you are sighing, holding your breath, clenching your jaw or other tension in your body. As you notice these moments, use breath to release the tension. You need to have a clear head to be able to combat the stress. When you are stressed, you have hormones running through the body. You can be in fight or flight mode. In this state, your brain is unable to process emotions and situations as normal. By recognising what is happening in your body and stopping going into fight or flight, you can start see clearly.

Journalling - another great tool that I use to understand what my emotions are, what is the cause of anxiety or stress is journalling. I do this in a gorgeous diary, but it can be in your phone on the way to work. I journal to remember what I have been doing in my life, but also when something comes up. This way I can look back and see what might have been the cause of the anxiety. 

Welcome the love - this might feel a bit woo woo (this is what my friend calls anything that is a little beyond the norm). But it feels great, so maybe just try it and see what you think. Hold your arms up to the sky, open wide. Look up to the sky and close your eyes and take a deep breath. And say out loud (or in your head) I welcome joy, I welcome love, I welcome the beauty that the universe has to give me. Take three deep breaths and feel the joy and possibility.

Laugh. Laugh as often as possible and as loud as possible. Deep belly laughs that fill your soul. Laughter with friends is the best, but a loud giggle watching a funny tv show or listening to your favourite podcast is also good. Let laughter disrupt the stress in your life.

Music. Use music to change your mood. Do you have a morning play list that gets you in a joyful, kick ar*e place that sets you up for the day? If you don't, then create one today. Whether it is on spotify or some of your old tunes. I like something that gets my shoulders moving.  

Remember what it was like to be a child. I was recently talking to a friend about those round- a-bouts in the park. I used to love to twist and swing around and around. There was something so freeing about those moments, pure joy. In the last year I have been rediscovering that joy that I felt when I was younger. Those moments that topped me up and filled my heart with joy. Sadly there is no round-a-bout near me to play on, but there are other joys that I loved when I was younger. One of them is dance. Not going to a dance class (although I love those as well), but putting on some tunes that I can boggie to (I think my neighbours think I am nuts - that's ok) and just letting go. My body remembers and my mind goes back there, to the joy I felt as a child. Ah bliss.

None of the above need to take a lot of time. I meditate for 10 minutes a day and there are days I just don't find the time to meditate for any longer than 2 minutes. But on the days I don't meditate at all, I feel out of sorts. And then if it is a couple of days in a row, I feel a cumulative effect of not having given myself that space to breathe and focus. But all of the above are tools I use. Sometimes, only a belly laugh or night out with friends is the only thing that will do!

What about you?

About me: I run a coaching sessions, workshops and retreats to help you design the life you want to live and live it with intent. I run learn to meditate workshops in London, as well as sessions on quietening the mind. Check out my workshops page to see where I am delivering these, to download one of my free meditations.

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