The Calm Mind Checklist

The Calm Mind Checklist

Why stress is a big problem:

 It lowers your immune system

 It prevents nutrient absorption

 It makes you less happy

 It can lead to mistakes

 It can place a strain on relationships

 It shortens your lifespan

 It hurts your physical appearance

 It is completely avoidable

Types of meditation:

 Transcendental

 Aim is to completely empty the mind

 Uses a mantra (repeated word)

 TM is a trademarked form of meditation

 Requires a teacher

 Mindfulness Meditation

 The aim is to reflect on your own thoughts dispassionately

 Used in conjunction with CBT

 Nada meditation

 Aim is to completely empty the mind

 Uses sound

 This can be music

 A babbling brook

 The surroundings

 Gazing meditation

 Aim is to completely empty the mind

 Stare at:

 A fire

 A river

 The wider environment

 Kundalini meditation

 The aim is to combine proper breathing, exercise, meditation

 Is a form of yoga

 Vedic meditation

 Aim is to completely empty the mind

 Very similar to TM

 Focusses on using a mantra

 Third eye meditation

 Aim is to completely empty the mind

 Works by focussing on point between eyes on forehead

 Loving kindness mediation

 Aim is to cultivate feelings of love and kindness

 Focus on positive emotions and memories

 Progressive relaxation/body scan meditation

 Aim is to relax the body and mind

 Focus on relaxing each muscle in the body starting from top

 Chi Kung

 Standing meditation from China

 Hold positions and gently move between them

 Focus on the dan tien

 The center of gravity, just beneath the navel

 Imagine energy flowing around the body

 Religious meditation

 The aim is to become more spiritual

 Focusses on a passage of text or scripture

 Productive meditation

 From Deep Work, by Cal Newport

 The aim is to solve a problem

 Think deeply on any given problem you might be having

 Tai Chi

 Moving form of meditation

 Practice slow forms and patterns with complete relaxation and concentration

 The aim is to cultivate chi, but also improve health

Mindfulness:

 Mindfulness is used to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings

 Mindfulness can use mindful meditation

 But also, positive mantras

 Mindfulness is used in cognitive behavioral therapy

 CBT is a form of psychotherapeutic intervention

 This identifies negative thoughts that cause anxieties and issues

 You then ‘deconstruct’ those beliefs and replace them with positive ones

 For example:

 If you are afraid of speaking in public, as why that is

 Assess the exact thoughts you have

 Ask whether those thoughts are valid

 E.g. Would someone really laugh at you for stuttering?

 Does it matter what strangers think?

 Challenge those thoughts with hypothesis testing

 See what actually does happen if you pause or stutter

Other ‘metacognitive strategies’:

 Mindful Washing Up

 This involves washing up while concentrating deeply on that process

 A form of meditation while doing something else

 Wide Angle Vision

 Relax your eyes and see with your peripheral vision

 Let everything in. You take in more data, but less focussed.

 Can lower stress and change perception.

 Wim Hof

 The Wim Hof method is a breathing technique

 Helps strengthen immune system, gains control over nervous system

 Improves resistance to cold temperatures

 Involves a meditation component too

 Journaling

 Keeping a journal can help you to remove stressful thoughts

 Image streaming

Lifestyle changes for creating calm:

 Be more minimal

 Minimalism means you have less to take care of

 Exercise more

 Better health means a calmer mind

 Exercise stimulates the release of feel-good hormones

 Get more fresh air

 Spend some time ‘unplugged’

 Eat a nutritious diet

 Eat fruits and vegetables to support a healthy mind and mood

 Drink more water

 Avoid stressful work/encounters

 Breathe correctly with belly breathing

 Relax the stomach to let the diaphragm enter the abdominal cavity

 Fill the lungs at the bottom

 Then the top

 Inhale fully, then exhale

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