September is an especially busy month between the start of another school year to the harvesting of herbs and vegetables. We look forward to fall and prepare for winter but let’s not forget it is still summer. The flowers and our gardens remind us to continue enjoying these next few weeks or at least until the first full-throttle frost. Even when the hard frost comes we know warm days will be with us into October.
As I try to hold on to these precious summer days, a mental exercise comes to mind. It leads into another exercise that may be both enjoyable and of value to your well-being. I did it by looking at photos that were on my phone. It made me realize how many pleasurable moments I experienced throughout the summer.
Take time to review some of the especially enjoyable times throughout your summer. You can mentally reflect as if in a daydream state or by looking at photos that you took. Maybe you were by a body of water, in the mountains, on the beach with grandchildren or perhaps at a wedding or other special event. These are moments that brought you feelings of joy, happiness, appreciation, calm, fulfillment or other positive feelings. These were precious times that can remain with you.
You may want to write some of your memories and the feelings associated with them on paper to reconnect at any point in time. Keeping an inventory of some of the special times in our lives reminds us of how fortunate we are. This is also a nice way to help shift from summer into the next season.
Here is a HeartMath® exercise that I tweaked . It uses those memories and feelings when you are trying to figure out how not to feel so anxious, stressed, sad or overwhelmed. This exercise won’t fix the world’s problems but it may help your internal state to relax and feel better.
Quick Coherence Technique
“Coherence is the state when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation. It is a state that builds resiliency – personal energy is accumulated, not wasted, – leaving more energy to manifest intentions and harmonious outcomes.” - Dr. Rollin McCraty, HeartMath Institute
Step 1: Heart-Focused breathing. Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. Suggestion: Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds (or whatever rhythm is comfortable).
Step 2: Activate a Positive Feeling. Regenerate a memory and the feeling associated to that memory from your summer’s inventory as mentioned above. Stay with it for another minute or two. Come back to your breath and notice how you are feeling.
This exercise helps remind us of how easy it is to make a change when we work with both body and mind. It also reminds us of the important places, people, animals or events that are meaningful. These memories and feelings can stay with us for a lifetime.
If you are interested in learning more about how this technique works or anything about HeartMath® feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go directly to HearthMath® Institute.