As those of you who live in Dubai will know, the driving is crazy! People cut you up and generally just don’t seem to pay the blindest but of attention to other drivers. On my way home from a long day in the office, already in a pretty grumpy mood, I was cut up by another driver and had to do an emergency stop on Sheikh Zayed Road. Grrrrrrr!!!!! Heart racing and seriously annoyed to say the least I arrived back at my apartment. I am sure most of those living in Dubai deal with this on a regular basis and it really can put you in a bad mood!
Some people can release this tension really quickly but I can end up in a bad mood for hours! Not much fun for my hubby or for my poor wee doggy Fergus. Sometimes after a day like that you really need some proper chill out time and relaxation and for me this takes the form of mediation. I steal myself away into the bedroom, light an incense stick (my favourite is sandalwood) and stick on some meditation music or something relaxing in the background. I then just lay on the bed and close my eyes.
As those of you who have tried meditation will know, it’s not as easy as closing your eyes and putting on relaxing music. How do you get your crazy, busy mind to stop whirling at a million miles an hour?!
The first step is to concentrate on your breathing. Listen to yourself breathing in and out. Count the breath in for 3 and out for 3. Focus on your breathing alone and nothing else around you. Then picture yourself in a room. Any thoughts and worries which come to your mind, don’t ignore them simply acknowledge that they are there and put them to the side one by one as they come up and then go back to focusing on the breath, counting it in and out slowly. Once you feel a sense of calm then picture yourself walking out of the room leaving all those worries and negative thoughts behind you and closing the door. As you close the door you find yourself in a beautiful, warm, sunny outdoor space. For me I love to picture a meadow full of grass which smells like summer at home (probably because I am surrounded by sand in Dubai!) but it may be a beach or it could be your childhood back garden, just somewhere that you feel safe and free. Focus on how you feel in that moment and let the sense of warmth come over you, being mindful of your breath to keep you focused. Stay in that moment for as long as you want and until you feel completely relaxed.
It’s amazing what a difference it can make to just take that 10 minutes out when you feel stressed and give yourself the time to relax and feel calm. Give it a try!