A few days ago, I discussed the prevalence of stress in our lives. It’s become so chronic that we get used to it as a sort of baseline.
We can even become addicted to stress as a way of being.
Once you become aware of how you act in your world, and react to the stress that is a natural part of it….you can then do something about it.
Probably the simplest (and often overlooked) way to put the kibosh on stress-oriented behavior is to focus on your breathing.
A great way to learn how to breathe naturally and completely is through the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume I: Invigorate & Rejuvenate.
In the course, I teach you the Complete Breath. And I also teach you seven exercises, combining breathing with specific movements, that open, free and relax you.
The most important thing is to simply become conscious of your breathing.
Here’s a great example from my own life that you may share.
Our son, Miguel, who is 7, is a great kid and a good student. But, like many kids, he is sometimes anxious about school and therefore resists getting ready. He’ll use all the stalling tactics, like not getting dressed, refusing to eat breakfast, etc., etc.
When I’m in reactive mode, rather than thinking mode, I respond to his escalations in resistance with escalations of my own. This typically results in yelling and screaming and tears. We make it to school on time, but it’s not a very pleasant way for us to start the morning.
On the other hand, when I catch myself, I resist being reactive to Miguel’s tactics. Instead of rushing about and worrying whether we will be ready or not when it’s time to leave, I take a moment to observe my breathing. Invariably, when I’ve been in reactive mode, my breathing is tight and I feel tense.
Chances are, you’ve experienced a similar reaction when in a situation of stress, like trying to get the kids ready and off to school. Your breathing is “tight” and very shallow. You probably have tension in your jaw and forehead areas, as well as in your shoulders and back.
This is a typical physical response to stressful conditions. I’m not sure why it developed in us this way, because it certainly doesn’t seem to help us cope better with the situation.
At any rate, by the simple act of observing your breathing, you will automatically and naturally release some of that tightness. Take advantage of this. Take in 4 to 5 deep breaths.
Don’t force it. Just allow yourself to slowly and smoothly inhale.
If you find you are forcing the inhale, switch your focus to the exhale.
Blow out all the air – without straining – then relax and see how fully you inhale. “The exhale takes care of the inhale”, if you do it properly.
So, next time you are stressed out, or about to enter into a demanding or stressful situation… take a moment or two to become conscious of your breathing.
Give yourself the gift of a minute or two to just sit (or stand) and breathe smoothly, calmly and deeply.
You’ll find yourself naturally relaxing, yet feeling energized at the same time. The perfect state for performing well and dealing with the challenges life throws at us.
You Can Do It!
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2012