Can you think back to a time in your life when it didn’t feel like each day you were moving from one chaotic situation to the next? How about recalling when you could rest your head down at night and not immediately begin to replay your entire day only stopping to overthink all the things you wished had gone differently. Maybe you have created a good flow for you and all your daily activities and obligations and if so, amazing job building those life muscles up strong and this probably isn’t a read for you. If you are craving some relief from “those” moments that pop up throughout your day, the ones that will knock you right off track, take your focus, and threaten to ruin your whole day……this is probably definitely a read for you.
Here’s just one of the ways it can play out for me….and I am sure you too. I set out on my day familiar with my routine, knowing my role, my duties, the choices and decisions I need to make. Then something causes the flow to get halted, for me it seems to be something I forgot to send, bake or create for my daughter’s kindergarten class. Other times it’s been when I had all the things ready for an important appointment or meeting, except the one document that was actually needed. They happen sometimes once, sometimes 10 times and before I knew how to not let the event or the 2 hours of rehashing the event in my mind completely consume my day I ended the day feeling exhausted, frustrated, upset, and down right crappy.
The reality is I never had and never will have any control over most of what happens in my life. I can make one hell of an effort to create the life I want, but have very little control over most of it. What I do have complete control over is how I choose to feel about things, how I choose to react to things, how I choose to live out the moments in my life ones I want to experience and therefore preserve my energy, focus, and happiness. You can too! By using the following breath techniques you can drastically change the outcome of your day from a draining one to an uplifting one.
Feeling derailed, stressed out, or anxious? Box Breathing - Close your eyes and picture a square box in front of you, focus on the 4 sides of the box. Inhale to the count of 4 while you mentally trace one side of the box, hold for a count of 4 while you trace the next side. Exhale to the count of 4 while you trace the third side. Hold for a count of 4 while you trace the final side. Repeat as needed. This is a very grounding, anxiety reducing way to breathe, shutting down the surges of cortisol and adrenaline.
Can’t fall asleep because you are replaying your day over and over and over only to pause to judge yourself for something. Wave/Circle Breath - Breathe in deeply, filling your lungs and as you reach the very tippy top of your breath, begin to exhale slowly. Once you have reached the very bottom of your breath, begin to inhale slowly. Connecting the inhale and the exhale so there is no pause, no break in the cycle or breath. This is an extremely relaxing and calming way to breathe. Sending you into a zone of ahhhhh.
Feeling scattered, needing to get focused? - Place your hands on your belly and breathe into your belly to the count of 3, pause. Holding that breath there, now breathe into your chest to the count of 3, pause. Holding your breath there, then breathe into your throat to the count of 3, pause. Exhale in the reversed direction yet in the same manner. Starting at your throat and working down into your belly. This is a very centering breath.