Are You Giving Your Mind the Rest It Needs?

We should be on a mission to quiet our thoughts every day.

I signed in to yoga class on a mini iPad. Next to my name the text said, “2 of 20 remaining,” which bothered me. It sounded like I had twenty classes left on my punch card instead of two. During class, I contemplated phrasing that would be more clear. How about 2 remaining, out of 20? When the instructor reminded us to bring our attention back to the breath, I did. I focused on the poses and I could feel my body loosening, but my mind went back to the wording when it could. I was on a mission to solve my “problem” by the end of class. Turns out that my friend was working out when to thaw ground beef for dinner and she had much more important stuff to do that day — not that she should be thinking about the bigger stuff then either.

Instead of being on a mission to solve every problem that pops into our mind, we could be on a mission to quiet our minds every day. Some people are already doing this. Practicing mindful movement, meditation, or simply paying attention to their breath for five minutes or more. Focusing on our breathing is a direct path to resting our minds. When we are exhausted, we might finally take the cue to rest our bodies, but often we overlook the need to rest our mind.

This week, I tried the practice of mindful breathing in the grocery check out line. Even though this is a widely recommended time and place to focus on breathing, I usually forego the opportunity so I can scan magazine headlines. The focus on my breathing calmed me quickly and I wasn’t using any extra time. We have opportunities like this throughout our day, if we are willing to see them and use them.

When and where will you practice five minutes of mindful breathing?


Originally published at www.everydayessays.com.