The panic feeling suffocating in the chest; the to do list screaming in the brain; the leapfrogging from one thing to the next; the sleeplessness, freaking out, and hypertension. I'm well acquainted with these feelings. You too? Today, for all our sakes, I offer a short and simple list of three ways we can breathe more & stress less.
Try this with me: squeeze both fists as tight as you can so all our muscles tense, close your eyes tight, then release everything in one slow breath. Laugh at yourself, you just looked ridiculous! But this anger management technique called The Tiny Octopus really helps, even if you aren't angry! Sometimes our minds need to jump the hampster wheel for just a minute so a little regrouping can take place. Sometimes the simple act of pausing to take literal deep breaths will right the imbalance we feel mounting inside of us! (I hide out in my closet or bathroom to do this!! Often!)
I've talked before about the green and blue zones and their effects on our health. Basically, getting outside for five minutes will ease stress and tension. Studies prove the benefits nature offers our mental & physical health. I've experienced the benefits as I'm sure you have. Try to remember how you felt on your last trip to the beach, hike through the woods, or walk to your mailbox. Five minutes–don't tell me you don't have it!–outdoors haults the stressful feelings and allows us to find a bit of renewal.
Take care of yourself. As I begin to feel the seasonal stress of camp, I am working diligently to avoid the temptations of staying up late and eating "survival" foods. Getting enough sleep, eating less carby and more veggy foods, drinking green tea rather than coffee…these are basic behaviors that can make or break our stressful times. Don't neglect what you already know to do. Stay faithful in the little things!
The reality is, you and I both know how to stress less, but have we given feet to this know-how? A little perspective allows us to remember our stressfulness won't stay forever. Steady the pace. Breathe.
What's one way you breathe more and stress less?