Resilience: Slow Down and Breathe
Slowing down and remembering to breathe can keep you strong. Nobody said it was going to be easy, though. It seems like when things come at you, they really come at you. The key is to remembering that while you may not control everything that is going on around you, you do control yourself. Nobody else can do that.
Here is a way to take control and de-stress in an instant.
- Awareness: Get in the habit of informally monitoring your stress levels. When you are in the throes of some activity mentally note how you are doing. Is your breathing shallow? Do you notice tension in your muscles? Is your brain going at light speed? This is all a sign your adrenalin is kicking in.
- Imagine: Visualize yourself in a relaxed state. You are breathing more deeply and slowly, your muscles relax some, you tell yourself to slow down. It will begin to happen.
- Spot Check: A few more time throughout the day, check yourself. How are you doing? If your stress levels are back up there, then try the visualization again.
By helping yourself to relax, you will help oxygen to get into your body, and more importantly, your brain. This will help you make better decisions.
On top of this, you will keep your body from making that “emergency adrenalin” reaction, which in turn will help you keep from developing a whole host of stress-related health issues. Best of all, it only takes a few seconds. As you practice this process, you will be able to elicit a relaxation response more quickly.
Give it a try.