By: Anthony Hayes
Keep on Flowing, Just Be…
Sounds simple enough right? Not quite. Breathing instinctively for life and control of breath for emotional balance are two different processes. Oftentimes we underestimate the power of a breath. We take breathing for granted. Meanwhile, this single element is the benefactor of all existence. The question is can you find a balance…?
Some years ago my therapist gave me a simple stress test. It used a short questionnaire and color coded card which worked off body heat. It’s a chemically treated strip that changes color with changes in temperature. The more relaxed and less stressed you are the more dilated the blood vessels.
The importance of the outcome of the exercise became apparent to me and my overall well-being. Considering I was more stressed then I anticipated, as this was not the main purpose of my visit that day. We all get anxious at times. Usually over something silly and small but to us it is a very big deal. It may come on so rapidly, without warning there is no preparing for it. Or is there?
The timing can be unpredictable, however the series of events leading up to a stressful moment, or trigger, is usually par for the course. Here is some common triggers I’ve come across.
- Rushing – Nothing is worth rushing to do. Set your clock ahead 12-15 minutes. Despite what you may think your do NOT work well under pressure. No one does. In fact, studies show an increase of adrenaline in times of emotional distress is the bodies response to this overwhelming situation. As a result, we feel a sense of accomplishment. Meanwhile we just completely overloaded our brain ultimately exhausting our most precious resource. So why 12-15 minutes? 5 minutes is pointless. 10 minutes may account for some variables, but not all. I’ve found around 15 minutes is my personal sweet spot for completing a project or arriving some where I need to be.
- Situational – Clutter and disorganization causes me unwanted stress. I do my best to tidy up as I go. Admittedly, at times I too get behind on my tasks. Things happen. But I do my best to take time to breath just before I anticipate a problem will arise.
- Energy – Have you ever walked into a room, all is quiet, cold, and everyone around you suggests by mere body language that something is off. As it turns out Steve’s cat Fluffy used the last of her nine lives that morning and got ran over as he backed out of his driveway. An unfortunate event certainly but no one even knew Steve had a cat in the first place. The universe is made up of these energies. From science with protons to neutrons, and emotional energy as well. Steer clear of the unnecessary ones.
The Solution to managing ALL Stress
“BREATH INTENTIONALLY WITH INTENTION”
Even if it means excusing yourself for a ‘bathroom’ break, take that moment. Keep on Flowing, Just Be…Just BREATHE.
- Close your eyes (if surrounding environment permits)
- Inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale completely out of your mouth.
- By the third breath begin to subtly soften your exhalation.
- By the fifth breath begin to subtly soften your inhalation.
- Breaths 6-10 count each time you inhale and exhale.
- Open your eyes, have a stretch, and something similar to a yawn. Either separately or simultaneously.
In closing, it is not a perfect system. However with time, and practice, it can be the deciding factor to better manage stress.
“Control the controllable, as for the rest Keep on flowing…Just be.”
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