Look After Your Mind

White Light Blue Light

There is a great deal in the news at the moment about people’s mental and emotional wellbeing, though these go hand in hand of course. Taking some time just for yourself is not selfish in any mean sense. There is a wise old saying from the Middle East that advises, ‘Work on yourself and serve the world.’

An ancient but very simple and powerful technique is to sit quietly by yourself, somewhere without distractions. You can keep your eyes open or closed.

Firstly, just mentally check your body for any areas of muscular tension – forehead, shoulders, hands, stomach. If muscles are tense, simply allow them to relax so that you feel settled and tranquil.

Now begin to notice your breathing. Many people breathe quite shallowly and quickly, but here the aim is to slow and deepen the breathing. This deepens relaxation and slows the heart rate. An effective way is to count the breath – inhale for a slow count of four, hold the breath in for a similar interval (or less if you find this difficult), then out to a count of four, making sure the exhalation clears all the air from your lungs. Repeat the cycle four or five times, then breathe in your normal yet relaxed way without counting.

The next step is to imagine that each time you inhale you are breathing in a clean white light. See it as clearly as you can in your mind’s eye, or just tell yourself it’s happening. Let the white light wash through your lungs and imagine it soaking through your body, bringing further relaxation and energising you for the rest of the day.

After a minute or so switch your attention to exhaling, imagining that each time you breathe out a blue light streams from you. The blue light carries away the aches and pains, the stresses and strains of the day. Imagine this light or just tell yourself it’s happening.

After a minute or so, imagine the white light when you inhale and the blue light when you exhale. Imagine breathing in calmness, deepening your sense of tranquillity and cleansing the system. Imagine breathing out negative thoughts, unhelpful feelings, and the cares and worries of the day. Continue for a few minutes and tell yourself as you conclude that the white light – blue light will carry on working for you ‘in the background’ as you carry on with your day.

Steve Bowkett