…speaking metaphorically, of course. When people think, they have a tendency to talk to themselves. Even if you are not consciously aware of this subvocalization, your body, more specifically, your tongue is. It will tense up when you are thinking, ready for action.
You may experience this as a general rigidness of the tongue or it may lift up off of the floor of your mouth or pull at the back of your throat or you may not feel it consciously at all. If you relax your tongue completely, it is very difficult to talk to yourself. Go ahead, I know you have to try it. Thus, relaxing your tongue makes it much more difficult to think also. This simple technique can help you stop the internal chatter and quiet your mind when meditating or when you just need a moment of peace. Just relaxing your tongue radically reduces the active thinking, beta brain waves and stills the mind.
Relaxing the tongue is such an effective practice that, in her book, Awakening the Mind: A Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Brainwaves, Anna Wise, says “If you take nothing else away with you from reading this book, you will have gained enormously from this one practice.”
She offers the following exercises:
- Close your eyes and allow your tongue to relax.
- No one will be looking at you, so it’s OK to let your mouth hang open slightly.
- Just simply let your tongue go, especially the back of your tongue.
- As you exhale, feel it let go even more.
- Exaggerate the relaxation.
- Exaggerate it again.
- You can almost feel your tongue floating in the cavity of your mouth.
- You may feel it shorten some – or thicken.
- Exaggerate the relaxation even more.
- Focus on only relaxing your tongue – nothing else.
OK. I am sorry, but I can’t help but think of a Labrador Retriever about now. Maybe we could learn something from them, huh? They always look pretty happy!
image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/annemariv/