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I sometimes feel as if I’m getting the life choked out of me.
From the “get-ready-here-comes-the-holidays” crap to rude and stupid people to “what-the-hell-is-going-on” in our world… I feel suffocated one day, and the next day, I feel as if I’m immersed in a quick flowing, deep river… while I’m clinging to the side with just one foot perilously balancing on a branch below in the water.
It’s not like I’m having a panic attack (or maybe I am), but I know that sometimes people and situations can be challenging (to say the least), and I need some air.
Maybe you feel the same. If you do, let me share with you something I learned from my Buddhists friends called Mindful Breathing.
Mindful breathing is about being aware of each breath you take. And by concentrating on each breath, you focus on the present moment. And by focusing on the present moment, you diminish the feelings/emotions you have about what is going on around you.
After all, if you could fix all the crazy stuff going on around you or smarten up the dummies out there, you would. But, it’s more than likely that you can’t. So, you either panic, get stressed out, get angry, slap someone (I don’t suggest that) or try a different approach to calming down.
What you need to do is find some space… chill… and, as they say – breathe.
So, in case you forgot, here’s how to breathe – or, should I say, mindfully breathe.
1) Either sit down or stand with your back straight. (If you can be alone, that’s best – but not needed. Unless you’re a celebrity or really hot, no one is looking at you anyway – so carry on.)
2) Close your eyes – you don’t need any outside interference. This is all about you.
3) Place your hand lightly over your heart.
4) Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep going, until your lungs are full.
5) Slowly and quietly release your breath through your mouth.
6) Repeat this process a few times. Feel your heart slow down.
7) Open your eyes … and continue your day.
You can do this anywhere and anytime of the day or night. You can do this when you wake up in the middle of the night with those crazy thoughts that make you worry about stuff that will never happen, or when someone ticks you off while driving, or when dealing with lazy coworkers.
Just take some time and breathe. Be mindful of each breath as you breathe in and out. Feel your heart slow down – it will thank you for taking a time out.
And – as a bonus – here is another cool thing to do when you’ve had to deal with rude, negative or obnoxious people – it’s called cleansing. After you take your first two or three breaths, take both hands and starting at the top of your shoulders, brush downward with your hands, as if you were wiping crumbs (or lint) off of your chest.
Just brush downward (not hard) – just a gentle brushing downward. No faces, no comments, just brush away the rude and negative people from your day. We’ll call that Mindful Cleansing. Repeat this brushing a few times. Then, go on with your day.
If you’ve heard of these two techniques before – congrats and, maybe, this will remind you to do them again. If you’ve never heard of them – congrats, you just have. How awesome is it going to be for you, when you try these out?
Mindful breathing and mindful cleansing. These are two ways to help you get through the holidays, as well as deal with the people or situations that, literally, choke the life out of you.
Okay. Ready… and breatheeeeee.
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