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Sunday, June 17, 2018

'Check Up From the Neck Up' Relaxation Practice

The following is a guest post by Evalyn Gaskell of Harmony LifeBalance.

Several times a day one can practice “check up from the neck up,” especially when there is a lot of mind activity going on, like:

  • feelings of being stressed, 
  • what to do, where to go, 
  • what’s happening tomorrow (or an hour from now), 
  • what happened yesterday, what was done, not done, said, not said, 
  • am I criticizing or judging myself or others, 
  • etc.  

1. Become aware of the “mind chatter” that is going on 

2. “Check up from the neck up” – and for just for a few moments become the observer, witnessing the self 

3. Quiet the mind, become still, focus on being centered and fully present - awareness is key 

4. In the moment of witnessing your “mind chatter” simply recognize the tension, the worry, the stress, etc. - Asking, “Where am I right here, right now?” “Am I truly present in this moment?” 

5. Breathe in relaxation; breathe out stress.
  • Take a long, slow deep breath in through your nose, while centering in your heart, breathing in relaxation to the count of four, 
  • Hold that breath, imagining it resting up above your head, expanding love and relaxation to the count of four, 
  • Then slowly breathe out through the nose to the count of four, releasing any stress, tension, worries, saying “Peace” or saying “Calm” during the out breath. 

This only takes 1-2 minutes and with practice it can help one to become centered, focused, and relaxed. By practicing this exercise regularly throughout the day, one becomes more aware each time and learns to recognize self-induced stress situations and can become better and better at managing that stress. 

Managing and living a life of less stress contributes to improved health and well-being, mind/body/spirit. 

About the Author: Evalyn Gaskell, M.Ed., is a retired Social Worker and Special Education teacher and is certified in Reiki and E.F.T. (Emotional Freedom Technique). She offers individual wellness, mindfulness and self-care sessions through her holistic private practice, Harmony LifeBalance, as well as community workshops and group guided meditation classes, in North Carolina. 

image by langil for pixabay


related posts:

Self-Care Through Self-Awareness and Self-Compassion (interview with Evalyn Gaskell)

Breath-Based Practices for Mindfulness or Stress Reduction

One-Word Labeling: Thoughts, Emotions, Sensations, and Urges

Relaxed Abdominal Breath: Stress Reduction through Mindful Breathing