In her interview with PsychAlive Senior Editor Lisa Firestone, Dr. Donna Rockwell talks about quick and simple ways to reap the benefits of mindful living. Watch or read the interview below.
What you can do in the morning before you jump out of bed at hearing your alarm is you can lie there with your eyes closed and you can put your hand on your chest and your belly and you can just be with the rising and falling of your breath for just a few moments, you know. And this will center you and your whole day will be different than if you jumped out of bed with the alarm clock.
And you can do it at night when you go to sleep. So many of my students have said that this cured their insomnia. Because what’s insomnia? A racing mind? What’s meditation mindfulness: Eradicating a runaway mind. So it’s just incredibly beneficial.
So that’s one way to do it is before you get up and when you go to sleep at night, when you’re sitting at the traffic light, anytime you’re feeling the anxiety kind of rising, just return to your breath. And the most important breath is the out breath. The out breath is associated with letting go.
When you’re doing meditation practice, there’s four parts of the breath: there’s the long slow dissolving out breath, the letting go breath, there’s a tiny gap at the end of the out breath, then the in breath naturally occurs. They say don’t focus too much on the in breath because that’s hyperventilation. We will breathe in because we have to.
So just sort of allow the in breath. Again, a tiny gap at the end of that part. And then again, the long slow dissolving out breath and the most important part of the breath is to follow that out breath, the long slow dissolving out breath. That breath trains the mind through the creation of new dendrites and new neurons a whole new neural network in your brain physiologically that will help you let go.