So much of our life is operated in a holding pattern. We hold onto stress and tension in the body causing physical pain. We hold onto emotional upset pushing it down and not expressing how we feel. As each day comes and goes we are on a roller coaster of holding patterns in our body causing anxiety, sleep disturbance and a whole slew of “conditions” that upset the balance in our daily life.
Some of us are aware of the patterns, some ignore and try to push through them and others have no idea.
How do we break the roller coaster pattern? How do we create balance?
Through noticing & practicing our breath.
Breathing is part of our autonomic system that operates without us thinking about it 24/7, thankfully! However, when we are tense, stressed or upset what happens to our breath?
Next time you feel pain, stress, anxiety come on think about your breath. Notice, how deeply are you breathing? Where is your breath coming from, your lungs? Your stomach? How much oxygen is actually going into your body when you are ticking up that rollercoaster, with a million things to do, and a million directions to go?
I challenge you to take 60 seconds, close your eyes and notice your breathing. Connect with your breath. How does your body feel? Check in with your physical self. Check in with your mental self. Check in with your breath and see if you can deepen it, fill your lungs with oxygen and notice the shift in your body. Do this exercise throughout the day when you feel overwhelmed.
A different variation is to watch your breath “breathe”. Simply sit and watch 3 to 5 breaths go in and out on their own, noting how you feel afterwards.
It doesn’t take long or need a demanding amount of attention, just a quick “hello” “how are you?”
This exercise creates awareness. Awareness is the beginning to changing your habits, changing the way you respond and most of all changing how you feel.
-Paula Kearney LA.c