8 Ways to Find Reflective Time
Regularly taking the time for what I like to call “self inventory” or personal “time outs” is imperative to growing stronger every day…especially when you are married. It’s impossible to make “smart” choices in your relationship without being able to understand you. What are you feeling today? Why are you feeling angry and what is it really about? Is the anger just a cover up to sadness? Why is your body so tired? Why are you suddenly feeling lonely now that your children are at school all day? What do you need to help yourself feel nurtured and satisfied?
In order to answer the above questions and more, once need to take the time to connect and reflect. That said, here are 8 ways simple ways to incorporate Reflective Time into your life (and make sure to do it without your Blackberry or iPhone stuck to you):
1. Journaling - Journaling or writing is one of the easiest ways to help unscramble your thoughts and feelings and be able to see them on paper. Writing not only provides a relief from heavy thoughts or emotions, but it is also a great tool to help your brain process the thoughts and feelings in a more effective way.
2. Meditation - One of the most ancient ways of connecting to oneself has been through mediation where one becomes totally present and separate from outside distractions. As mindful as we can be, we are especially living in an age where we are challenged by daily stimuli, not realizing how it impedes our ability to connect within. Taking the time to turn off the phone, sit quietly, close your eyes, and just feel your breath patterns is a wonderful way to connect and reflect.
3. Body and Breath work - Any type of body work or breath work (ie: Yoga, t’ai chi, Pilates, massage, etc.) which promotes awareness of the mind-body connection is a wonderful way to bring your mind and body to a reflective state.
4. Outdoor cardiovascular exercise - Elevating your heart rate and really building a sweat is like Miracle Grow for the brain. Regular aerobic exercise remodels our brains for peak performance by decreasing stress, lifting your mood, and sharpening your intellect. That with the calming effects of being outdoors is a great combo to help you move into a reflective state.
5. Psychotherapy - Talking to a licensed therapist or counselor who you trust and who you can build a safe rapport with is a sure fire way to process the who, what, and where you are in your life. Plus, having that consistent weekly hour just for you is the ultimate reflective space. Just make sure that the therapist is the right fit for you.
6. Music or art - There is a reason that music and art have a calming effect on children and the same goes for adulst. If music or art has that special effect on you, then definitely take advantage of your creative side to help bring you to a grounded place within.
7. Church or Temple - You don’t have to be very religious to gain the benefits of your local church or temple: Many of these communities offer adult seminars or peer groups which focus on various lifecycle stages where one can also take the time to reflect on their personal growth.
8. A relaxing car ride - There’s a reason many parents will take their overtired baby in the car to help lull him or her to sleep. Hence, one of the most meditative experiences can simply be a tranquil car ride where you are alone with just you, your thoughts and the outside world around you.
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