Too Busy? Not Enough Time?

Stressed, overwhelmed man
Feeling overwhelmed by life?

My intention for the past year and a half is to have more ease in my life. This was going well. For quite awhile I had a steady meditation practice, got regular exercise, was eating well and maintained downtime between work and commitments.

But then my schedule got busier and I had to move. That balance was lost to overwhelm which has kept my nervous system revved the last couple months.

I know many tools to help calm the body/mind, including doing Awareness Through Movement®. But there’s one practice I haven’t done in awhile I’d like to share. I hope you find it helpful—and that writing about it will make me more likely to do it myself!

A Practice to Shift from Tense to Spacious

water lily on calm pond
Soothe your nervous system

I took a workshop a couple years ago in which the teacher mentioned her pattern of feeling she didn’t have enough time. To interrupt her “Tower of Babble” (chattering mind), she created the following antidote for herself. I invite you to try it right now…or the next time you feel like you don’t have enough time.

Stop and Lie Down

Yes, when you feel like you can’t stop, that’s exactly the thing to do.

Business man lying down
Feel like you can’t stop?That’s exactly what you need to do!

Lie down on the floor, your bed or a couch. Close your eyes, feel the contact you make with the surface below and notice your breathing. If it’s comfortable, extend your exhales by a second or three. The awareness of being physically supported and of your breath helps lead you back into your body and the present moment.

This teacher continued lying down until she felt like she had enough time. If this doesn’t happen for you, just wait until you feel a sufficient shift and/or the idea of not enough time has loosened its hold on you. Then slowly get up and continue about your day from this place of greater calm.

Alternatively, Place One Hand on the Other

If lying down isn’t an option, simply place one hand on top of the other. Breathe and sense your two hands. Feel the contact, temperature, and weight of one hand on the other. Let this help bring you back to the present moment.

Add Some Calming Words

Calming words
Say a reassuring phrase

Perhaps your babbling mind needs more than stopping and following your breath to simmer it down. Try adding a simple phrase that gives you some reassurance or brings you a sense of ease. For example:

  • Right here, right now.
  • One thing at a time is enough.
  • It may not happen as fast as I’d like, but I’ll get everything done.
  • I can relax into everything I have to do.
  • All is well.

Repeat your phrase as many times as needed.

Happy dog
May you feel as content as this!

May this practice allow both of us to move through the summer feeling as calm and content as this little dog!

Please share how it goes for you in the comments below (or email me directly).