The biggest mistake I see people make in regard to mind wandering is the reluctance to stop, recognition of what they are doing and usually no awareness of how they are breathing. It’s deeply inconvenient to stop and think about what you are doing. Why can’t you just get on with it? This is a waste of time! Would be a perfectly normal response to the very idea of stopping, after all it’s a change in attitude that is really taking place. And like any habit, particularly a mental habit, the habit to do, do more and get on with it, it has become so ingrained that it’s very hard to seperate themselves from it.
Sadly it's a belief that puts them on autopilot, because there really isn’t much thinking involved or that thinking is a special and infrequent event called on at times of desperation. Desperation is a fair word to use because when someone has lost their key they haven’t acknowledged something that they did. A simple everyday action has slipped below the level of consciousness and has become taken for granted. All we needed to do was pay attention. It's the same thing when we go into a room and forget what we went in there for. We don’t stop to think we are just running on autopilot, so we are unable to sustain a thought and it gets lost to anything else that can be suggested, or whatever our subconscious throws up. Even if that’s just drawing a blank.
So when you do give yourself time you are acknowledging to yourself fully whatever it is that you are doing; putting your keys down, lifting your head or moving your leg. Without this basic awareness you will regress, because you will never be present. So there must be the stopping and the recognition.
That should have some effect on your breathing. Your breathing needs time to work. It’s very easy to do with the breathing, there are many breathing exercises out there, even Alexander Technique ones. Ranging from the simple advice of “take a deep breath” to things that verge on hyperventilation like the deep breathing methods found in some forms of yoga. Now these can have a positive effect but they also come at a price. You will do the breath and focus on it so much that it will give you tunnel vision. Your attention becomes so concentrated that you can’t sustain your other thoughts. It becomes a sledge hammer on your nervous system and you lose your ability to keep other parts of you body going.
However, if you go for a 20 to 60 minute walk you'll get your body to breath in a very natural way and you will create natural response breathing; movements that you can follow when you are at rest. This is the easiest and most effective way to deepen you breath and does not endanger overly contacting you diaphragm or belly muscles in anyway. You also keep your wits about you because this is a more indirect approach; the walking asks the body for a response. This is better than any breathing exercise. You also cannot function doing breathing exercises all day or you really will forget what you went into a room for. We need to balance our inner and outer attention. They both need to happen.
Hi, I'm Edward Fisher and I believe that everyone can have a life free from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and many other musculoskeletal pain related conditions. I recovered from slipped discs and sciatica. I spent 10 months being unable to walk. After 3 months of Alexander Technique I was walking again. Now I show others how to overcome their own pain related conditions for themselves.
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