Here’s a simple and easy tool to help bring your body into the state of peace (parasympathetic nervous system) when your mind is involved in an unhelpful thinking pattern.
The other day, I was driving and each street I took was hampered by drivers making U-turns or backing up. It became quite frustrating as I was running a bit late and finally, by the the third time that a car backed up towards me, I thought “aarhg, why is everyone going backwards?! I’m moving forward.”
With that thought, the wording on my beloved keychain popped in mind and brought a smile to my face – it says “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way!”
I imagined that there must be a lesson in this.
How many hours a day do I spend looking backwards and chiding myself for past reactions to people or situations? How many moments do I re-play negative movies of past events – my own or others? Way too many, that’s for sure.
I decided to try and tune into the present moment more often. The easiest, quickest way to do this I found is by tuning into what I am hearing through my auditory sense. When I make myself aware of the sounds around me, I truly am tuned into the present time and space. I experience a moment of awe of how much noise there is in just regular activities. The sound of my footsteps as I walk up the stairs, the sound of opening a door and the whirring of the fridge. All these noises are happening and yet, most of the time, I’m so wrapped up in all kinds of mind thoughts that I don’t hear what’s going on in the present moment.
So, if you find yourself in a moment of looking back and replaying a negative memory over and over again, try to tune into the present moment – take a conscious breath and just listen. You may find that the world at that moment is quite beautiful.