If you ask your brain a question – it has to seek the answer – so one of the most powerful ways we can bring our minds back to the present moment is to ask it a question about what it can see. Try it out, have a stretch, take a breath, here are 5 questions related to seeing- can you answer them?
1. How many shades of green can you see right now?
2. Can you find 5 different colours of grey in the clouds / blue in the sky?…
3. How many different leaf shapes can you see out your window?
4. What do the lines on the palm of your hand really look like?
5. What feature do you love most on a loved one’s hand / face?
6. Can you find a new feature on your child’s face / hand you haven’t seen before?
And while you were answering those questions was it possible to be caught up in the intensity of planning, remembering, feeling, to do lists?
This is one of the most simple mindfulness strategies – and it is also one we can completely forget to do – we can move through the world with ‘blinkers’ on…
Our brains cannot take in every detail in any moment – so we program them unconsciously to only see what we ‘want’ to see. If we are focussed in on what a terrible day it is – then we will see evidence for this. If we are focussed in on how we ‘stuffed’ up or we’re not good enough- then we will see evidence for this. If we are in love then the world literally looks rose coloured and we will only see evidence of how beautiful the world is.
With mindfulness, we can interrupt our thinking, we can provide a pause – stretch, breathe and ask our mind- ‘what are 5 things you can see right now?’ and then choose whether to dive right back in to the previous thinking program or to reprogram our brain what we will concentrate on right now.
This is perfect for when we are feeling annoyed/irritated with someone. We can choose to keep finding evidence for this or we can switch focus to find and notice the neutral or positive things that person is doing! Just noticing inside ourselves the positives for that other person – can change what they do and how they relate to us!!!
Give it a go – which one of the questions above is your favourite? Which one will you use this week? Have you got a different question you would like to share?