Presence is a Virtue – Part 2

tramCatching public transport to and from work can be a really good use of your time. Of course, you can read a book or do work but you can also use this time to practice being present. It is particularly beneficial to experience the present moment while commuting since it is usually at the beginning of your day (you can set a calm, focused tone for your whole day) and at the end of your day (you can wind down and let go of the events of the day). I find the following exercises very useful when I am commuting to and from work.

1. Focus on your body on the seat

  • Close you eyes if you like and focus all of your attention on how it feels to be in contact with the seat you are sitting on
  • Focus on how your back, bottom and legs feel against the seat
  • If you are standing, simply feel your feet on the floor and anything else your body is in contact with. Examples include your hand on a hand rail or your clothes against your skin

2. Focus on your body’s movements

  • A bumpy ride on a train, tram or bus can often be annoying and we tend to resist moving with the vehicle’s motions by tensing our bodies
  • Try relaxing your body and letting yourself move naturally with the motions of the vehicle
  • Focus all of your attention on the movements your body is making and how these movements feel
  • This can turn an ordinarily annoying experience into a rather enjoyable one!

3. Focus on one instrument in a song

  • If you listen to music while on public transport try focusing intently on only one instrument used in the song
  • Focus on the drum beat, the guitar or even the vocals
  • This exercise makes me appreciate music so much more since it becomes more than just the background noise behind my thoughts

Do you have any suggestions on how to be present on public transport? Let me know in the comments section below 🙂

Lisa

P.S. If you would like to know the reason and purpose for this blog check out the About page here.

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The Benefits of Meditation

One of my favourite websites is psychologytoday.com. When I’m in the midst of a psychological funk I search for articles that I can relate to and I always find good quality information on this site. I immediately feel a sense of relief after reading facts about the issue I am experiencing. This sense of relief is mainly because I begin to understand myself more and what I am going through and I instantly feel able to take steps to address the issue. It is also useful to discover that I am not weird or insane 😉

The following Psychology Today article is not about a particular issue I need to address but it is about one of the primary methods I use to cope with daily stresses. It’s about meditation and its scientifically proven benefits. According to the article, research shows that a 10 minute meditation session can decrease anxiety and depression. It is also claimed that meditation facilitates self-acceptance and insight as well as reducing pain and enhancing the immune system! That’s pretty amazing!

I can personally say that meditation has had a profound impact on my life. I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. It influenced my behaviour and ultimately ruled my life (it was particularly evident during the Self Conscious Lisa phase). Since beginning to practice meditation 2 years ago (and only recently taking it up again) my feelings of anxiety have decreased dramatically! I also know how to use meditation to calm myself if I feel the Anxiety Monster creeping up on me.

I know the benefits of meditation can be experienced by everyone. Why not give it a try?

I hope you enjoy the article 🙂

Lisa

P.S. If you would like to know the reason and purpose for this blog check out the About page here.