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February 25, 2019
The alarm clock rings and your feet hit the floor and you’re catapulted into a non-stop day. You’re habitually reading email, responding to text messages, or on your tablet. The needs of your family, friends, or colleagues pull at you and you find yourself constantly caught up in busyness.
All of this is enough to drive even the sanest among us a little nuts. What can we do to bring some peace into a chaotic day?
There are many things we have no control over but there is one thing you can do to nurture yourself and it can be done any time you choose and almost anywhere.
Take a breath! But NOT just ANY breath. I’m NOT talking about mediation either so read on to find out what this kind of breath looks like.
This breath is just for you. It’s a few seconds you take just to connect with, well…you. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and then slowly push every ounce of air out that you possibly can. Repeat 2 more times.
With each breath visualize your entire body (from the top of your head to the tips of your toes) being bathed in a bright white light. As the light flows imagine that it melts the tension in your body as it flows. Tune into your facial muscles. Soften your eyes. Sense your neck muscles and allow them to loosen and allow your shoulders to drop. Continue to check in with your body and notice where you feel tense and allow the white light to bathe that area. This allows you to reconnect with you, your body and it settles your mind – even if just for a few seconds.
During this process, silently say to yourself, “I choose peace.” When you’re done, go on about your day.
This takes 45 seconds or less but it will have a lasting impact. AND – the benefits are cumulative the more you do it.
If you get so caught up in your day that you can’t remember to do this, set an alarm on your phone or computer and call it Check-In-Time.
Over time, create a habit of doing this before you turn the keys in the car, or after you step in the shower, or as you lay your head on the pillow at night. You can practice this in the elevator ride to your office, standing in the grocery store line, or at the DMV.
This isn’t just for you. Teach your children to do this and watch them learn how to comfort themselves when they’re feeling anxious. Children love the visualization piece. It’s powerful stuff.
How will this make a difference?
A Harvard study reports deep breathing can relieve stress and anxiety. WebMd reports breath coming from the belly (diaphram) has a more calming effect than shallow breathing. And an article published by Forbes states, “controlled breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system is linked to stimulation of the vagus nerve—a nerve running from the base of the brain to the abdomen, responsible for mediating nervous system responses and lowering heart rate, among other things. The vagus nerve releases a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that catalyzes increased focus and calmness.”
I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little more focus and calmness throughout my day so this brief effective exercise is well worth the few seconds that it takes – AND – the more I do it, the faster I get at creating peace IMMEDIATELY.
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