Hello SOTGC community,
Nope, it’s not your killer legs, your bright smile, your stock portfolio, or your home. You’ve had shares in it since you were born, and you’ll have them for life. It has the power to give you life, and also to bring you to a place of balance, should you need the help. This valuable commodity I am speaking of is your breath.
If your own personal volatility matches that of the stock market, or you find yourself overwhelmed by anxiety or stress, or if catatonia has set in, it is time to take a step back; better yet, stay right where you are, and take a moment to breathe.
Remembering to breathe can sometimes be a challenge – like when you find yourself at the airport to get on an international flight with your husband and six-month old baby, only to find out that you will not be let on the plane because your husband does not have his passport. Yes … this happened to me yesterday morning at 6 a.m., and what I really wanted to do was scream.
If you find yourself stressed, distracted, or overwhelmed, you can use your breath to come back to the present moment. At any moment, you have the ability to bring yourself back to a centered state by focusing on your breath.
We breathe all day long without much notice and, for most of us, without even trying. Not only do we take our breath for granted, many are unaware that we can use our breath beyond that of sustaining physical wellbeing; it happens to be one of the best tools we all have to help keep us emotionally and mentally grounded.
It’s really as simple as this – stop whatever you are doing or thinking, and take three slow and deep breaths. Try to pay attention to the air as it flows in and out of your body. This allows you to experience a small “pattern-interrupt” in your thought process, a diversion of sorts, to help you regain some balanced focus. (On another note, this is also a very helpful technique to use if you find yourself in a less-than-ideal conversation that may be getting too heated, aggressive, or upsetting).
Another more focused breathing exercise is called the 4-7-8 breath … inhale for four counts, hold your breath for seven, then exhale to the count of eight. If you can do this for a few minutes, it will work wonders!!
We make wiser choices when we are grounded and balanced, so remember to breathe. Not only will it help you make and preserve your sanity, it will also help you enjoy every other aspect of your life as well.