Conscious repose

A tutor at college introduced me to the idea of “conscious repose” almost ten years ago, and I have never forgotten it. Although it might sound a bit pretentious, the concept is actually very simple, and it’s super easy to do. 

How often do you just sit and do nothing? And I mean nothing. I expect that, the younger you are, the stranger that question might seem. Not texting, scrolling Facebook, zoned out in front of the tv, or even reading a book; just doing nothing. Without any distractions. Even daydreaming (although that can be useful too) - if you can notice and get curious about the content of your daydreams...

Conscious repose is about being with you, removing all external distractions and just being aware of your thoughts and feelings for a little while. You don’t have to do it for long - just ten minutes a day is enough. It gives you a chance to come home to yourself, away from all the noise and chatter of our increasingly over-saturated, digital lives.

It can be surprisingly challenging at first. I still sometimes get a feeling of panic at the mere idea of having nothing but my own company, in the very purest sense, even just for ten minutes! But after I get into it, a wonderful sense of calm creeps over me, and I soon feel at peace with myself. And you’re not allowed a cup of tea in your hand either! Oh, go on then...

So, try it – just spend a little time with you, and only you, each day, and see how it feels. It isn’t meditation, so you don’t have to empty your mind or focus on any particular thing. You don’t even have to avoid getting attached to any of your thoughts, as in some styles of meditation. You can think about something specific, or just let your mind wander, but the important thing is that you are conscious (i.e. aware) of what you are thinking, and feeling. If bad things come up, or it feels really uncomfortable, talk to a therapist about it, or someone you trust, who can reassure you. But hopefully it will feel good. And you never know what you might discover about yourself...

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Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11

Written by Amy Dann

Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11

I am a transpersonal psychotherapist practising in Felixstowe. People come to see me from all over Suffolk to work on a wide range of issues.

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