100% of the top 100 successful people do it. 100% of Olympic gold medalists do it. 100% of the top 100 happiest people in the world do it. They breathe. Long, slow, focused breaths. Try it (because you know you already did, but do it again). Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You don’t have to hold the breath in. Closing your eyes helps too (after you’ve finished reading this). I visualize the breath coming into my toes and filling my legs, body, arms, and the I exhale. That air leaves as quickly as it came in, taking with it my stress and worries. Sometimes I can feel chunks of stress fall off my shoulders.
In May I was in Indianapolis on business with some friends of mine. I spent much of the weekend being referee to some verbal arguments as well as just witnessing some downright ugly behavior. I didn’t realize how much stress I’d accumulated (indirect stress, as I wasn’t directly involved in the arguments), until I sat grabbing a bite to eat with another friend at the airport. As I sat, for the first time in four days, in a peaceful setting and took a few deep breaths, I could feel big, dry, caked-together chunks of stress fall off. My friend looked at me from across the table and remarked she could see the stress “falling away” as I took each deep breath.
Many of us don’t breathe properly. Our breaths are shallow and only use a portion of lung space. Deep breaths come from the diaphragm, the muscle below your lungs, and your stomach area should move in and out as you breath as opposed to your upper chest moving. Different breathing patterns can help you to relax, fall asleep, or even become more energized. So I put together a few videos on some breathing techniques that will find useful:
So today I charge you with the task of taking the time to breathe. It’s one of the first things I do in the morning – at least three slow, deep breaths. I repeat as needed throughout the day to combat stress, anxiety, or the daily craziness that comes from being the mother of two tweens.