It may be obvious, but I love color! As someone who tends to be more visually oriented in my learning and expression, this actually plays a key role in my meditation and mindfulness practice.
As I’ve shared before, I like to think of mindfulness as a muscle. As we practice through activities such as focusing on our breath, feeling our body through a body scan, or even a more formal sitting meditation practice, we are flexing our mindfulness muscle which shifts the landscape of our brain and allows us to be more present for our lives. The trick is beginning to align things in our everyday lives with mindfulness, which is why I LOVE this next practice.
This practice invites us to use the colors that surround us in our everyday and use them as mindfulness triggers. For the sake of example, we will be using the colors of a traffic light – red, yellow and green. You will start to become aware that these colors are always around us – especially in nature. You can also make this practice your own by simply choosing your favorite color, and align one of the actions below to trigger your own colored version of mindfulness. Let’s get started.
Inspiration: Thich Nhat Hanh
“To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness Tip: Color as a Mindfulness Trigger
Step 1 – Red: When you arrive see the color red (even at a stop light), literally stop and take 3 breaths in and out through your nose. As we breathe through our nose, we access the parasympathetic nervous system, which naturally calms and relaxes us. Bonus points if you can breath through the entire cycle of a red light.
Step 2 – Yellow: When you see the color yellow, simply smile. When we smile we release endorphins that reduce stress and help us feel better. Even faking a smile can lead to feeling happier.
Step 3 – Green: When you see the color green, simply give gratitude. This can be as simple as being grateful that you are alive, or grateful for a loved one in your life, or grateful that you are able to embrace this moment, right here, right now. Bonus points if you want to place your hands on your heart (unless you are driving of course – keep those hands at 10 and 2 – safety first:-).
Bonus – Infuse Color Into Your Meditation: Below is a 6 minute heart awareness guided meditation. As you listen to this track, imagine that as you are breathing into your heart center, you are infusing your favorite color. Enjoy!