Does your morning ever feel like this: The house is a mess (even though you are sure you cleaned it yesterday) and all you want is a nice, quiet cup of coffee to start the day? But someone has the TV up WAY too loud. And someone else is taking a work call and you gather the person on the other line is hard of hearing because the person in your house is screaming on the phone. Come to think of it, why are we always screaming on the phone? There is laundry to do and the tub needs scrubbing, but you have a ton of work to do for your own job, because you know, life. On top of it, there’s nothing to look forward to; no vacations or change of scenery in sight. I know, same, right?
Before we all spontaneously combust, try something with me. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing diaphragm (not your chest) to inflate with enough air to create a slight stretching sensation in your lungs. Slowly exhale. Repeat 6-10 times.
Feel better? According to experts, breathing techniques like this one can decrease blood pressure, decrease stress and increase energy. When we breathe deeply, it sends a message to our brain to relax. Our brain sends that message to our body. Amazing, right? It can help us keep our cool when tempers flare. All good things, considering the stressful times we are living in. Yes, the science behind it is impressive. But aside from the long list of physical benefits, deep breathing can center us and help us be in the moment.
Back before the world got turned upside down, I used to get a facial every once in a while. To get the relaxation started, the therapist would tell me to take a deep breath, hold it, and then let it go.
That’s actually great advice. Take a deep breath and let it go. In consideration of the stress of what is and what is coming: let it go. We constantly wonder,
“How are we going to…?”
“When will be able to…?”
“What if we can’t…?”
Feeling stressed just thinking about it? Breathe in and let it go, just for this moment, if you can.
Summertime is here. Virtual learning is put on hold. Yes, this summer will be different than any other. Many of us will be missing milestones with loved ones. There is less to do. The days are wide open. While we may worry about how to fill the time, it also means there is more time to run in the sprinklers, eat ice pops in the shade, or have a lazy weekend morning with nowhere to go. It may feel like this summer will never end, but wasn’t that the best part of being a kid? Summer lasted forever. Embrace this moment. It is fleeting. Take a moment, and just breathe.
Katie Gately, Founder, Behaved Brain Wellness Center