In our ever busy world of commerce and to do lists, sometimes it can be difficult to make time to connect with ourselves and find calm. This can create issues with insomnia, anxiety, and irritability. This week we will concentrate of five action steps to find calm with in hectic times:
1) When you begin to feel overwhelmed take notice of your breath and take a 2-5 minute breathing break.
Usually when we feel stressed or overwhelmed, our response is to stop breathing. This signals the stress response in our bodies and tells it that we are threatened. This makes cortisol flow into our bodies, short term this is okay, but if this is frequent occurrence and there is a pattern of shallow breathing or holding the breath, this signals to your body that it is unsafe. When you take notice of your breath it helps you to focus on something that you can control. By regulating how much oxygen you are taking in, which helps your body, mind, and spirit feel less threatened, you have a clearer mind to change your thought patterns. Try this exercise on for size:
The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
Sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”
~ Andrew Weil, M.D.
2) Take 5 Minutes to rest your head.
I know this sounds crazy, however, when your body is feeling overwhelmed, it needs rest and repose. One way our bodies learn that we are relaxing is being in the supine position (laying down) and also when we rest our foreheads. You know all the meme’s of people putting their heads on their desks in defeat? Well, actually this position helps to elicit the relaxation response and reset the parasympathetic system. It also helps to stretch out the lower back and activates you GV 24.5 third eye point to help connect with your inner wisdom. Try it on for size.
3) Take at least 20 minutes a day to reconnect with self.
When stress or overwhelm comes for a visit, self care tends to go out the window. I know that spending 20 minutes sounds like a lot. But lets be honest how much time do you spend on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? It is all about priorities. If you feel like spending 20 minutes at one time is too much, try to do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 at night. Try meditating, take a bath, drink a cup of tea, and stretch. Try doing it without your electronic devices. Take the time to unplug for 20 minutes a day where you just concentrate on reconnecting with self.
4) Try using affirmations when you begin to feel anxious or out of control.
When we change our thoughts and how we relate to them, it is possible to change our reality. If we can look at things as challenges, then we feel less constrained which helps us to be more positive. When we change the way that we react to stress and overwhelm, we gain a perception shift which allows us to live more joyful and positive lives.
Try these affirmations on for size:
Challenges help me to grow.
I can handle whatever comes to me.
Today has limitless possibilities.
To make it extra potent do a round of EFT.
Start by placing your hands over your heart and pick one of the affirmations to tap on. Begin tapping on the crown of the head, then to the third eye, eyebrow point, side of the eye, under the eye, under the mouth, under the nose, under the collar bone, the finger points, the karate chop point and ending with your hands over your heart.
While tapping the points repeat the affirmation. Tap each point about three times. Notice how much better you feel after you complete this. Go for a second round if so desired.
5) Spend time in nature or outside.
Being in nature or just being outside in park can help reduce stress and bring you back into the present moment. Nature is grounding and helps to get you out of your head. It allows you to be able to return to what is happening right now, instead of concentrating on in the past or the future. Try going outside once a day in the same place and notice what has changed. Have new flowers bloomed? Are their butterflies? Are their birds? What is the temperature like? Soak in this experience, so that when you are feeling overwhelmed, you can use this moment as a resource.
Use one or all of these to help you to stay present today and and don’t forget when you fall into worry, remorse or anxiety. Remind yourself where you are right now and what you are doing. Tell yourself “I am okay and safe in this moment. I breathe and let life flow.”
Please leave comments below and contact me if you have any questions.
Have a beautiful week.