It may sound silly but one of the most important things we can do to manage stress and remain comfortable in our own skin is to BREATHE. A deep breath that anchors us into the moment and stops the whirlwind of chaotic little voices of panic and dread that seem to crop up in our heads like little gremlins in times of stress. I am kindly reminded of this right now due to the sheer number of things happening all at once in my life.
As most of you know, returning to work from vacation is busy enough. Add to that the whole layoff thing and a number of new business related opportunities and things have been hopping at my household. What I am noticing though is that I am so focused on getting things done, connecting with other people, and managing the details that I am forgetting to breathe. Sure I am taking my usual “me” time in terms of meditation, exercise, and yoga, but in between those down-times, I am allowing myself to get cranked up. When I get bitchy at little things I know it is time to STOP and BREATHE. The bitchy meter hit some high notes today. Ask my bluetooth headset that broke today, it regrets ticking me off.
It is funny but simply noticing I am holding my breath or rushing is enough to start getting me centered. I immediately feel better, more in control, and more confident. Simply through breath and awareness. Sounds simplistic but I can tell you that I’m facing a number of those real-life “life happens” things all at once and it REALLY does work. It’s not just some mumbo-jumbo that sounds good on paper or when some motivational guru speaks it. It is rubber meets the road, real-life tools for thriving. If you’re not breathing and you’re not in the present moment there’s no way you are going to be powerful or comfortable in your own skin. Think about it — if you are totally anaerobic and winded working out are you at your best mentally? I don’t think so. I LOVE to exercise and work out, but I know when I am sucking wind climbing a hill on my bike is NOT the time to be creative or highly thought filled. If you’re stumbling through your work day feeling like a hamster on a wheel or like a heart patient having a stress test, you need to back off. Stop, breathe, re-assess and handle only what is right in front of you, right now.
How about you? Do you remember to stop and breathe as you go about your day? How about during times of stress? Strike up a conversation in the comments and let me know…