It’s no secret that there is nothing you can buy that will make the pace of 21st Century daily life less chaotic.
The do, do, do of things is often fear-based (just look at mass media any hour of the day), and high levels of stress, illness, sleepless nights, overwhelm, failed relationships and deep unhappiness seems to be unstoppable and growing.
Sadly, it appears that this lifestyle is the new normal.
Being caught up in the tangled web of circumstances that appear to be running the show, it can become even more stressful and upsetting during this time of year! We are all susceptible to falling into this trap, and learning to navigate your way out of it is what DSM Life Trainings is all about.
The one, most essential ingredient, that sustains you and is most often forgotten in times of stress. is your breath!
Your Breath is your portal and personal communication system to your Source and your innate wisdom. It is the one thing that has been with you since your birth. Without it you wouldn’t exist!
It is this Life Force that sustains and connects you to the moment and to relaxation that all of the busy-ness will never achieve.
It is a strange phenomena that in times of stress and the gotta- gotta’s of daily activities, breathing becomes the one thing we restrict and stop doing. Like the proverbial frog in water coming to a boil, we don’t even see the creeping consequences until it’s too late!
Shoulders and chest tighten, posture collapses, heart labors, blood pressure rises, immune system weakens and laughter dies. The boil is on and nobody notices.
Let’s take a tally here. How often do you stop even for a moment to check in with your breath? Once a day? A hundred times a day? Never?
Your answer will give you a good indication of how present you are in your life and how well you are managing stresses in your life.
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.”
Your breath only exists in the moment. You are either breathing in, breathing out, or in-between in and out, at any moment.
It is your Breath that gives you life.
It is the power and flow of your breath, as the great Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says, that calms body and mind. You can be sure that if you are holding your breath you are in a hyper-stress mode and shutting off the very life force that keeps you healthy and vibrant.
Be present with your breath – in the experience of any moment – and you have access to truth about your emotions, feelings and choices that are happening within you, now.
To get closer to this nourishing gift of life here is a simple breathing exercise that will help you manage your stress during this holiday season :
- Take your hand and place it on your belly. Slowly take a deep breath in, keeping your shoulders relaxed as your lungs fill with air, expands your ribs and finally puffs out your belly. zThis will push the hand that’s on your belly out and away from your body. (Note: if your shoulders are moving up close to your ears as you do this, it is a sign that you are taking shallow, stressful breaths. Begin again, this time keeping your shoulders down and relaxed.)
- Then exhale fully beginning with your belly, then ribs and upper chest.
- Repeat this sequence 4 more times to complete a cycle.
To help you practice in non-stressful situations, do these cycles in the evening as you lay in bed and before you go to sleep, and then again in the morning before you get out of bed.
Throughout the day remember to do these puffy belly breaths and you will notice a big improvement in your stress management and overall well-being.
Here are some ways to help you remember to check in with your breath.
- Put sticky notes around your home, office, car that say Remember to Breathe.
- Set an alarm on your computer, phone or watch at regular intervals that remind you to breathe.