Flipping the Switch: How to Turn Off Your Brain… and Just BE

By Michael Dangovian

November 14, 2017

We get this question all the time… How do you get your mind calm, free of those racing thoughts, and allow yourself to just be? Here are three steps to achieving just that!

Our world is a hectic, noisy one. And although you’ve probably heard that it’s healthy to spend time each day in meditation, knowing where to start can be a challenge. So here are three ways to dial down the world around you and just BE…

1. Know that it’s not always easy to do

I’ll admit it. Even after years of yoga and meditation training, and I still have problems turning off my brain sometimes. I tell you that as encouragement. Things get busy, stressful, and your mind starts racing.

Sometimes even thinking about meditating, if only for a few minutes, just feels like too much. Like that silence is impossible to face.

So, even when you know all the techniques, it still takes practice. And again, if I can learn to do it, so can you!

2. The Body Breath

Try this exercise:

1. Take a big deep breath. Inhale and then hold it. Notice where your center of gravity is located. For most people, that center of gravity will be high up in the body (a “face breath”), making you more top-heavy.

  1. Now stand up straight, with your feet four inches apart and flat on the ground.
  2. Push your feet into the floor and squeeze up— squeeze your ankles, your calves, thighs. Pull your belly button in and continue squeezing up— through your lower back, middle back, upper back. Your body will naturally inhale.

When your lungs are full, pause. Be aware of what it feels like to be full of this life force. Be aware that taking this breath is the most important thing you will ever do.

Now, reverse the sequence and squeeze down, focusing on each part of your body as you do, from your upper back down through your ankles and into the floor. Your body will naturally exhale.

Pause for a moment at the bottom of your exhale, and notice how it feels not to breathe.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Continue to do this and, with practice, your mind will clear, and you’ll have far greater control over your thoughts.

3. Label Your Anxieties

So much of your health starts in your head.

We have a member who is prone to having a feeling like she is going to pass out. We found that if she says it out loud—”I feel like I’m going to pass out”—whenever the feeling comes, just putting words to it is enough to allow the sensation to pass.

Your mind is a fantastic instrument. It’s capable of far more than you probably give it credit for.

When you need to shut your brain off, just breathe. Just be okay with what’s happening. Put a label on it.

Say, “My thoughts are going crazy. There’s no reason for it, and it’s okay.”
Saying it out loud can have amazing effects. Reducing the anxiety to what it really is—a tiny worry, a moment of panic, a thought that won’t stop running through your head—puts it in its place and makes it small enough for you to handle.

So, the next time your brain just won’t shut off—no matter what you do—pull up this post. Recognize that what you’re feeling is normal. That everything is okay. Do a few deep grounding breaths. And then put a label on those thoughts. Put them in their place.

Then relax…

And just BE.

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