Maybe you have heard that meditation or mindfulness can help you in learning to move beyond your pain. Good news, it CAN. If you are like me – this is a SUPER hard thing to do. Not gonna lie to you all. I have struggled with quieting my mind in my faith, yoga practice, and even at the movies or plays!!!! My brain is on if I am awake. I have been told by my husband it might just be on while I am sleeping!!!
Because of that I had to find other ways to learn to “shhhhhhhhh” a little and make some space to look at some of those thoughts! With a past in education, I love to pull from those lessons to help find new and creative ways to help people. This would be one of those things. We are going to make a calm down jar to help have something for the kids and you to practice mindful meditation.
Pain can scatter our focus. It can become hard to focus on anything else other than the thoughts that swirl in our heads about our own pain. Thoughts like, will it ever end, will I get the help I need, do my providers even know what they are doing? All of the “wills” and “what if’s” and fears can overwhelm us. Mindfulness can break into these thoughts like a little time out and allow us to break out of our thought ruts. All these less than positive thoughts are little nerve signals that our brain uses to decide how safe we are or how much threat we are under at any given moment. That unconscious assessment from our brain coincides with what we end up feeling. Sounds crazy right. It’s not, I promise.
Did you know after being really upset or excited it takes the nervous system 20 min to calm down and call off the flight or fight and settle back down?!
When we watch a scary movie, or an exciting athletic event we can feel the chemical rises and falls in our system. We expect them to, so they are easier to identify. Our own thoughts about our life and pain are often so much more subtle. Yet the sense of being in danger often sets off our fight or flight system. Because we don’t always sense the danger – it is subtle. We often need a little help identifying it and then figuring out how the heck to get things to calm down. Meditation and mindfulness practices can help with this.
If you have followed me on FB at all you know I am constantly talking about calming down the nervous system. Everyone wants the quick fix and easy button for that task, I regret to inform you, I do not actually have an easy button. However, I do have this super cool project that you can make at home that will help you break into this idea of meditation and mindfulness so that you can build it up again. AND your kids can make one with you – making you the awesome mom that you are, and helping you to feel like it too!
To give yourself a minute – the preschool world calls these time out jars. Yup, sometimes our bodies and minds need a time out too. When the pain is increasing and the thoughts are swirling, grab your jar. Let you and the jar settle a bit. The goal is to get to a calmer place where you don’t feel so overwhelmed by the thoughts and the pain. When you are able, journal mindfully about the thoughts and feelings that came up while you watched the glitter swirl.
The jar can also give you something to focus on to simply help you slow you’re breathing. Which also helps calm that nervous system down and that helps make life a little bit more tolerable.
The Recipe for your calm down jar
There are recipes all over Pinterest. Please feel free to try your own, but for those that just want to know what to do, here is the recipe my daughter and I used.
Remember – glitter is the herpes of the craft world, so…. Well,…. Just remember that 😉
20 min calm down jar
Bottle: glass or plastic ( we used a 9 oz bottle)
Water to almost fill your jar
4oz of glitter glue
Glitter to preference
Fine, chunky, shaped – if you can dream it you can do it.
Food coloring for water to preference
3-4 drops dish soap – helps suspension
Super glue to glue top on
Enjoy the video on how to make your own mindfulness
(Calm down) jar!
Please share a picture of your meditation/mindfulness jar! Let me know how you used it in the comments below, or join me on FB and leave a post at https://www.facebook.com/RestoringVenus/.
28 days of Journaling prompts here, give it a try with your new jar!