Come back to now
Healing a wound does not have to be arduous. We associate pain and discomfort with a harsh, negative connotation. This judgment begins a ripple effect in which we immediately brace and oppose the process. The resistance creates friction making it more effortful than it needs to be.
The simplicity of taking deep breaths while in physical or emotional pain allows you to embrace the discomfort from a place of acceptance rather than defense. Whatever the situation, it has already happened and there’s no changing it. The pain is your reality in the present moment. This subtle shift in awareness truly has a dramatic effect on the intensity of the pain, not to mention your attention is now on filling your lungs with air and bringing attention to the here and now in place of catastrophizing thoughts about the situation.
Holding your awareness in the present moment is a combination of focus and passivity. The mind likes to wander requiring you to diligently focus on what is happening in the now. While you hold focus you simultaneously relax into your body and allow each moment to unfold, as an alternative to pushing the sequence. Reflect on the feeling right when you first wake up or when you arrive home from vacation. This calm state of mind which allows you to notice all that is happening around you without hyper vigilance and control. This is present moment attention. You’re not anywhere else. You are right here, right now.
The more you practice breathing and being present the more likely you are to automatically go to this more peaceful state of being in a time of difficulty. The present moment holds richness for life. Our peace lives in the stillness of being present. We tend to realize we have everything we need when we are in the present moment as opposed to dwelling in the past or planning and worrying about the future. We connect with the innate sense of who we are and this connection reminds us to slow down and smell the roses.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.