Are you frantic at the moment? Is your mind racing as it is the end of the week, and you are sliding into Friday morning realizing you have so much left to get done at work – let alone all the other plans that are set to happen this weekend?
We can all use a little peace and focus in our lives, many times – even a small taste would be better than the sour flavor of frantic and erratic squirrel chasing.
A few times this week, I found myself discussing mindfulness and discussing being centered – at one point it was as part of a working session. It was during this session that whatever stress I had was likely nothing compared to some of the others in the room. A number of us were asked to take a ‘stress test’ where we scored ourselves.
I got a 14 which I was told was a slightly moderate score, anything from 10 and lower was considered lower…others in the room scored 30, someone in the 40’s, and then another person maxed out at 90. I think they were quite concerned about that person, as they grabbed her after the working session. Anyway, back to the professional at the front of the room…
The professional in the front of the room admitted that they do a mindfulness exercise each day as they pull into their job – which happens to be a very stressful one at a hospital here in the DFW metroplex. I was shocked at the honest transparency, and I sat up on the edge of my seat waiting to hear of ‘the secret’ they were using.
This medical professional has a demanding job that is draining on multiple levels, and I have come to learn that many that treat sick people are doing God’s work without any expectation of even a thank you. The folks I know the best in this field are doing it for far deeper reasons that I still try to understand. Working with sick folks in the ER or other settings – spanning all ages. Damn, that is stress.
[Yet, incredibly rewarding – as they know their daily actions are congruent with their life’s calling. Can you say the same?]
So ‘the secret’ that was shared with me was this:
‘After my drive in, I slowly put the car in park. I then turn the car off. I turn my phone off. And then I do 10 deep belly breaths. This takes me about three minutes most days. Then I slowly open my eyes, and I’m ready to hit the elevator.’
A couple of years ago, I likely would have reacted with a WHAT??!? THAT’S IT??!?!
Not this week. My reaction was a very wide smile as I sat alongside someone in my life that is very precious to me.
Your breath is a central and magnetic force in your life that you likely take for granted, and many times only notice when you are overwhelmed or taxed out for a variety of reasons.
This is 10 breath technique is one that has enabled me to plow through so many challenges spanning multiple zones of my life. I strongly suggest you play with this one over the weekend. You can do it anywhere, and likely in any situation where you feel the stress or anxiousness rising. As you master this technique, it may eventually become an involuntary habit that kicks in when you start to rise on the stress scale.
If you reach this point, you will come to understand that the self awareness you possess will have grown as well.
Your breath and being centered – they are linked and central to regaining the power of the moment.
If you think 10 breaths is too much, start with 3 good ones. Even three breaths will help you.
If you are at the gym, do you take any deep breaths before a big set? I can tell you on my heaviest sets on my heaviest days, there is definitely a deep breathing routine I have to power myself up.
If you ever see me before a big/priority meeting at work, you will see me charging up with my breath.
To have a medical professional remind me earlier this week that they even do this – well it was a very gratifying reminder that many times the most effective things are the seemingly simplest ones. Not always the easiest, but the simplest ones.
You could have done 10 deep breaths while reading this post or many others on this site, and I guarantee you will physically, energetically, and likely emotionally be in a changed state compared to when you started breathing.
Give it a shot, and let me know if this ‘secret’ technique works…