Usually, when we think of improving our environment, it’s about recycling, planting trees or driving less. This is all about our physical environment; saving the planet.
But, what if we turn our attention to our internal environment? There is plenty of information about what we should eat and drink to stay well – from calorie intake to vitamins and minerals and it’s quite common to read articles and see programmes about this.
Howevever, I wonder how much time you spend on your environment in your brain? Do you nurture it every day? Do you listen to what it’s telling you? How often do you give your self space to understand your emotions?
Start with any sensations in your body.
Here’s a quick way to ‘check in’ with your brain by scanning your body. In a quiet place, sit comfortably with closed or soft eyes and begin by noticing any sensations. No judgment, just observation. You might notice temperature, tension, a sense of movement, tingling, connections between top and bottom or side to side, softness, heaviness, loud or quiet, heaviness, scratchyness, colours, stopping or going, softness, dissonance. As you notice these sensations, let them go, noticing how your body easily comes back into balance. In Happy Brain, we describe this as soothing your reptilian brain, the part that can get us ready for fight or flight. By soothing it in this way, just like you’ve done, we can ensure that when those action hormones are produced, they can be used positively.
Now, your emotions.
Next, take notice, without judgement, any emotions you feel as you scan your body. Perhaps anger, anxiety, happiness or something else. As you feel each emotion, let it go and see it float easily away. In this way, you’re releasing emotions that can be created when we interpret those sensations you identified in your first body scan.
And, finally your thoughts.
Finally, as thoughts come into your mind, notice them go by as if you are watching traffic. As each thought easily goes out of sight, notice how your mind calms. Noticing, but not judging these thoughts allows your mind to settle doesn’t it?
After a few moments, take a deep breath into your tummy and as you release it, slowly open your eyes, noticing the room around you again.
Practice this regularly, and you’re already taking care of your internal environment.
For more information about Happy Brain, a simple model that uses play, creativity and NLP that gives you the tools for your child’s emotional resilience and mental wellbeing, please check out this website.