4 Ways to Get Control of Your MIND and Emotions

You may have heard that to master your life, you must first master your inner state.

Life happens from the inside out. Where you are coming from on the inside–your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and physical state–is the strongest determining factor in what happens around you and in how you experience and interpret whatever happens.

Because of that, many people have turned to meditation as a way to shift into a more relaxed, positive, clear, and focused inner state. Let’s explore four simple steps that can help you discover the peace within.

Meditation is a way to practice using these four steps. As you master these steps in your meditation practice, you can also use them at any moment in your life to bring you out of stress mode in relaxed clarity.

No matter which style of meditation you practice, you can use these four cues to meditate more easily and effectively.

1. Relax and Align Your Posture

Meditation begins with active relaxation. Active relaxation means that you put your attention inside your body and use your mind to release muscular tension. Maintaining a relaxed upright posture is an important key to actively releasing tension.

When you sit to meditate, notice and adjust your posture from your feet upward. Sit on the front edge of a chair, couch, or bed with your feet flat on the floor and parallel to each other. An ideal seat height is one in which your hips are level with or slightly above your knees.

Rest your hands palms down on your thighs. Drop your shoulders and soften your hands to release any tension in your arms. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head gently drawing your spine upright. Tuck your chin slightly lengthening the back of your neck. Close your lips lightly and place the tip of your tongue up to the roof of your mouth to relax your jaw.

Sitting upright like this is not mandatory, but it can be helpful. If you are unable to sit without back support, you can sit with your back against the back of a chair or in any comfortable position, even lying down. The bottom line is to actively relax yourself by becoming aware of your posture and making adjustments to release tension.

2. Feel your Inner Body

Adjusting your posture puts you in touch with what is happening in your body. The next step is to feel inside your skin, to feel your inner space. Notice what is happening inside your body without reacting to it–just become aware of it.

Observe your thoughts, feelings, and, most importantly, the sensations in your body. Witness these without reacting to them, criticizing them, or trying to change them. Just make note of what is going on. Scan your body to find any areas of tension or pain and settle your attention there–again just observing and relaxing.

Inner body sensing is the gateway to self-knowledge, self-mastery, and discerning inner guidance.

3. Breathe Consciously

One of the best ways to begin to feel inside your body is to become aware of your breathing. Imagine and feel as if your inhalation begins in your lower abdomen and expands upward into your upper abdomen and chest all the way up to your collarbones.

As you exhale, imagine and feel that whole space emptying from top to bottom. Allow your breathing to slow down and settle into a deep rhythm. Slow, deep, rhythmic breathing will balance your emotions and regulate your heart-rate and brainwaves so that your body comes into calm coherence.

If you notice any areas of tension in your body, you can imagine breathing into those areas to release pain or tightness. As you inhale, imagine gently filling the area of pain or tension with your breath. Imagine your breath easily expanding into that space. As you exhale, imagine that same space emptying out.

4. Smile Inside

To assist you in releasing inner tension and shifting into a positive state, practice inner smiling. Put a subtle smile on your lips. Feel appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to relax and feel positive in this moment. Smile with nurturing acceptance of whatever is happening inside. Imagine that every cell is smiling.

Inner smiling instantly shifts your body and brain chemistry and makes you feel positive and function optimally. This creates a positive cellular environment and grooves positive neural pathways in your body and brain. Inner smiling embodies an accepting, non-judgmental attitude toward yourself and others. It opens your heart and enables you to embrace what is good in your life.

For ease of memory, let’s shorten these four steps to: Relax, Feel, Breathe, and Smile.

>>> Here’s a video that guides you through a short variation of this. I call it “The Core Energy Technique” and you can follow along here.” and you can get it here.

The next level is to connect the feeling of “Relax, Feel, Breathe, and Smile” through your 3 major energy centers. This gives you a feeling of integration you can feel more powerfully through Mind, Heart, Body and your Spiritual Connection. Learn more about the complete Core Energy Meditation program here.

http://coreenergymeditation.com/pre-student/program/

So, how did you find “Relax, Feel, Breathe, and Smile”?

Practice this a little every day and watch your inner state shift and your life come into balance. No matter what you want to do, you’ll do it better with a relaxed body, an open heart, and a clear and focused mind. This sets the stage for a healthier, happier, more abundant, loving, and purposeful life–a life that flows effortlessly from inner guidance.

Enjoy your practice!

– Kevin Schoeninger
The Mind-Body Training Company

P.S. If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Core Energy Meditation. Take the 3-minute meditation quiz and learn more here

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The Magic of Low Expectations and Easy Warm-up

On those days when I just don’t feel like exercising or writing or really anything I need to do, I’ve found a magic formula for getting me going: low expectations and an easy warm-up.

I start with low expectations by telling myself, if I just do a little, that’s good for today. I usually define “a little” as half or less of what I might normally do. For example with exercise, 10 minutes of cardio instead of 20 and one set of 5 strength exercises instead of two sets of ten exercises. With writing, I might tell myself I’ll just write a paragraph or two. Because I usually do more, I know this lesser amount will be easy.

With my low expectations in place, I start with an even easier warm-up, something that feels like nothing at all. For exercise, I just start moving with a cardio exercise to limber up. It could be a walk or spinning on a stationary bike with little resistance. If I’m writing, I start with one sentence of any quality. I just get something written down.

Once I’ve gotten myself moving in that small, easy way, I often find that the juices start to flow. With exercise, I begin to breath a little deeper, feel a little looser, and my energy increases. With writing, ideas come to mind, associations click in, and I often find myself in the flow. Invariably I exceed my low expectations.

If I do a little exercise and a little writing everyday it’s easier to stay in that flow. And, if I’m not feeling it, I go back to my low expectations and easy warmup to get me going. If getting started is the hard part, then try making getting started as easy as possible.

I’d love to hear what works best for you,
Kevin

Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. The Holistic Fitness Training Program has easy Entry-Level routines for all four fitness components to get you up and going

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Are you addicted to negative thinking? (straightforward advice)

Do you ever over-think things? Do you get caught up in mental cycles of negativity or fear that keep you from living fully? Does your mind race like a hamster wheel— and you just wish you could step off?

Did it ever occur to you that you might be addicted to thinking?

If so you’re not alone. It’s estimated that the average person has between 50,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day.

Yet, how many of those thoughts are helpful? How many do you really need? How many are even true?

Though most people are unaware of it, addiction to thinking is the number one addiction affecting us humans today. And, it just may be the driving force behind all of our other addictions.

Here are the symptoms you may or may not have associated with over-thinking:

  • Constant worrying about what you did in the past or what might happen in the future
  • An incessant voice in your head that comments on everything
  • Feeling judged and habitually judging others
  • Keeping the radio or TV on as a constant background
  • Constantly checking your Facebook, Twitter, texts, and email
  • Needing to keep your mind busy
  • Discomfort with silence, stillness, and inactivity
  • Discomfort with feelings and body sensations
  • Feeling there’s always too much to do & never enough time
  • Trouble sleeping, meditating, or relaxing deeply
  • Feeling a constant subtle stress that never lets up

Want to get to the root cause of stressful overthinking — and start feeling mentally free, emotionally empowered, and physically energized right now? Click here to do 6-minute Core Energy Technique meditation.

So, what’s behind addiction to thinking? Why is it there? What drives it? If we knew what that was, maybe we could put a stop to it and the stress it causes!

There is a two-pronged false belief that traps us in our thoughts:

  1. We believe that “our thoughts represent reality,” and
  2. We believe that “we are our thoughts.”

Without us being aware of it, these two false beliefs makes us slaves to the mental fabrications we call thoughts.

Mental fabrications?

Yes, that’s right. Our problems begin when we mistakenly believe that our thoughts represent reality.

If that were the case, of course, thinking would be as important as it seems. It would be how we know what is real and possible in our lives.

Yet, thinking does not, in fact, represent reality. Instead, thinking interprets, categorizes, and organizes reality. Thinking is not about representing Reality at all, it is about analyzing reality and organizing it for action.

How thinking makes reality into a “To Do List.”

You can recognize this, if you stop and notice what you’re thinking at any given moment—and then ask yourself, what is the purpose of that thought? What are the consequences of thinking that way? What type of action does it compel or inspire?

Without understanding what thinking really is and what it does, you can unwittingly get caught up in over-thinking. And, excessive thinking leads to excessive doing which leads to excessive stress.

We become that hamster on the wheel of thought, spinning around until we are exhausted.

Then, we compound matters by thinking that we “are” the thoughts that we “have.” We identify ourselves with that incessant voice in our heads. How crazy is that? Are you really that voice that spews 50,000 to 60,000 thoughts every day?

How could you possibly be defined by all of those varied thoughts? You would have to be a severely multiple personality.

Is that really who you are? Are you really just that voice in your head, who thinks one thing one moment and a completely different thing the next—all day long?

When we begin to investigate what thinking really is and how it’s different from who we really are, we are able to step back and get a little space from our thoughts. We begin to experience a little freedom from all that thinking.

When we understand the real role of thinking, it empowers us to let go of thoughts that do not serve us or others, choose those that do, and spend more time being present with, paying attention to, appreciating, and enjoying, Reality Itself.

We step off the hamster wheel, take a deep breath, and take in what is really happening inside and around us. This opens the door for us to see more clearly, listen and feel more deeply, and appreciate the peace and joy of enjoying life as it is—without all the commentary.

Enjoy your practice!

– Kevin Schoeninger
The Mind-Body Training Company

P.S. If you enjoyed these insights to help you release the suffering of over-thinking, you’ll love Core Energy Meditation. Learn more and take the 3-minute meditation quiz to help you gain more control of your mind here:

 Core Energy Meditation

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