Updated: Feb 22
It's funny how the universe shows up sometimes. Just when I was getting ready to write a blog post about breathing, resetting, and refocusing, a big shake happens. The nearby military base conducted a test, and it rocked my house and I literally felt my heart jump out of my chest. I guess my jumpiness still stems from the back-to-back earthquakes in July 2019. Even though I was caught off guard, after checking on my son, I sat back down in my chair, closed my eyes, and refocused. I have a remedy that I rely on quite regularly and I believe it may be helpful to you in your wellness journey too.
There is quite a lot that people are dealing with on a regular basis and my hope is this post will give you some insight into how you can navigate a stressful situation. Since I'm not a medical provider, and if you're having concerns around anxiety, depression, or similar, please give your doctor a call or meet with a therapist to gain the help you may need.
From an educational standpoint, deep breathing allows me to reset and ground myself. Even when the earth shakes under my feet, I can still center myself on what matters and I do this through a breathing technique I learned in T'ai Chi. I talk about this technique in the Ease Anxiety & Stress in 7 Ways post I had written shortly after the earthquakes. The stress I have felt and occasionally, continue to feel throughout this pandemic, is relieved through meditation, in addition to the aforementioned (deep breathing).
When it comes to quieting my mind, sometimes this is challenging. I am internally driven and always have a plan and a contingency plan in place because I'm thinking and creating continuously. I've learned to slow down. I find the best times to quiet my mind - in other words, be present - are before making an important decision, before meeting with a client, and before bed. Becoming present allows me to relax and shift my focus. Even when I'm exhausted from a mentally stimulating day, I take time to meditate, even if for a few minutes. This allows me to center myself so that I can have restful sleep. What are some ways you relax before going to bed?
My nighttime routine consists of reflecting on my day, journaling about it and what I'm thankful for, and listening to one of two of my favorite people on the Insight Timer app. (Have a listen to Sarah Blondin and Bethany Auriel-Hagan.) Sometimes I write a letter to my future self after meditating. Then the dreams I have are of richness, promise, and possibilities!
Most of us are shallow breathers. Our inhalations and exhalations are relatively short and quick. Taking a few moments throughout the day each day to slow our breathing can be beneficial. Learn more about diaphragmatic breathing on Healthline.
In my post on STRONGER, one of the steps is E for Exercise. For one minute, choose an exercise you can do for one minute. I almost always choose deep breathing. This allows me to renew my focus for the day ahead. In addition to deep breathing, I also speak out loud or silently to myself saying an affirming word or thought after each exhalation. With these two steps in this morning ritual, I've renewed my focus and self-confidence. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!
Have you been putting off a phone call? Is there chaos around you? An unsettling feeling when you're around certain people? After leaving an appointment with unpleasant news? A big exam ahead? Interviewing for a job you desire? Meeting new people in a large gathering? Venturing out for the first time since the pandemic started? Traveling by plane soon? Front line or customer service line of work? Starting a new job? Family is growing by one or more?
Does any of that describe you? When it's safe to do so: Stop - pause. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. In through the nose and out through the mouth. After the exhalation think or speak one of these words: healthy, influential, focused, necessary, grateful, strong, capable, loving, impactful, peaceful, harmonious, confident, valued, focused, creative...
Just a few deep breaths and a few words can reset the energy around and in you. This exercise can not only reset your thoughts and next steps, but it can also allow you to tap into your inner wisdom. The more you do the breath with the word, the more your unconscious will reveal itself - your potential and greatness - your gifts - will be discovered. Trust and believe in yourself. You are your greatest advocate and friend.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease, condition, or ailment. This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Speak with your healthcare provider to see how/if it pertains to your individual needs.
The purpose of this blog is to offer support for your health goals. As of July 2022, Jessica David is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Jessica has ten years of coaching experience and you can consider her an encourager, someone in your corner, a friend, and a professional.
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