Mindfulness is more than simply being aware of the present moment and “letting go of the past and future”, with a little practice it can become your greatest tool helping you stay focused, relaxed and happy within yourself. If you’re reading this now I hope you enjoy learning this anchoring technique below as it’s great for giving you a positive boost when you need one.
This might mean you need a boost of energy to keep you going when you’re tired, or perhaps a boost of confidence to help you give that presentation at work, or maybe it’s a boost of peace and calm when your mind is spinning with so much to do.
Whatever reason you reading this, or whatever your going through right now in life, remember that your mind can be your biggest ally, IF you teach it be.
So for a moment just imagine your brain is like a field of long grass.
The first time you try to cross the field, it's tricky and you have to constantly push the grass down to forge a path from one side to another.
The next day, the grass might be slightly bent, but it's still a real trek to the other side of the field.
And the third day, it becomes a little easier. Until day after day, when you trek the same path, you suddenly find there is no need to push through the grass, because the path is already there.
Your brain likes patterns, it constantly creates neural pathways – just like that path through the grass.
So, how do we use this to our advantage? We use the brain to create positive pathways which we access anytime using our anchor. Anchoring is a useful technique for inducing a certain frame of mind or emotion, and we refer to it as our “resourceful state”, which might be happiness or relaxation.
It usually involves a touch, gesture or word as the "anchor", (like a bookmark, reminding you of a page, or an anchor marking the spot) for a desired emotion, and we can recall it when we need it.
For now, just imagine that when you are squeezing two fingers together, it’s as if you have a little sponge between them.
Whenever you are in a good moment, you can take a deep breath and squeeze your fingers, soaking up positivity!
If your outside on beautiful day, take a few deep breaths into all the colours around you, the sounds of birds singing, the feeling of warmth or freedom – and of course squeeze those fingers together and soak it up.
The more you practice, the easier it will become to notice your senses too, so really noticing what you see, hear, feel and sense. And if you are enjoying the sunshine, soak it up as it’s a great anchor to use on a cold winter morning to give yourself an energy boost.
Another couple of examples might be:
Feeling really good at the end of a day you managed to get loads done?! Take a moment to reflect on it, take a deep breath and squeeze your fingers.
Finished exercising and feeling energised and uplifted? With a few deep breaths, squeeze your fingers and take a moment to notice how good it feels in your body right now, and how proud and confident you feel after exercising.
Feeling deeply relaxed and at peace? Regardless of whether it’s rare or not, whenever you feel that calm and stillness within, and everything seems right in your world, enjoy a few deep breaths and squeeze your fingers together. Soak in all the goodness you want to take with you.
This means if you are having a moment of insecurity, worry, sadness, panic or doubt you can squeeze your fingers again to remind your brain and body of how good it can feel.
This is how you can use your senses to change the state of mind you are in, with just a simple touch.
Remember that since your anchor is like a sponge, soaking up positivity, at some point it will need topped up again in case it runs out.
Topping up an anchor can be done anytime you feel good just remember to create the physical anchor (touch) at the same time.
This is because you are psychologically associating the neural pathway of "squeezing my fingers" with "happy", or whatever positive resourceful state you choose.
This means that the more times you lay the anchor (as above), the more clarity you have in the feeling, and the better this technique will work, giving you a boost when you need it most.
For those who do wish to begin reducing their stress, learn to Meditate or give themselves a mental boost, why not enjoy one our free sessions when you sign up for regular updates.