You have got to be kidding me. This phrase has slipped through my lips several times lately.
The last few days have been quite...interesting. Life, never ceases to amaze me. Ever.
Sometimes, I take a moment and just breathe. Nothing else whatsoever. I just focus and breathe.
I stop. I sit. I breathe. For just a moment.
It's a ritual of sorts.
It began many years ago. At the time, I was working roughly 60 hours a week, 6-days a week, and attending college night classes. What's a 60 hour work week without one more teeny, tiny responsibility like college, right? I thought I was invincible. I thought nothing could touch me. I thought I could do it all and handle it all. Well, let's just say life got a little stressful. You think? I had a lot on my plate. A lot. I was a bit busy. And to think, I was also going through a divorce and dealing with the aftermath. But, still I thought I could handle it all as I normally do. I needed a smidge of help, just a smidge.
While attending night classes I had a team presentation and our topic was about "how do working adults cope with being back in school, how do they adjust and deal with the stress". You can see where I'm going with this right? My contribution. I gave my input to the team of how I deal stressors and they were all like "What? What do you mean you breathe?"
Let's just say I gave a "little" scenario to each member of the team, specific to their life and existing stressors. Candidly, I made them uncomfortable with the scenario I gave. You see part of the exercise was sharing with your team each of our fear's and the possible stressors we might have to deal with being back in school. So, I had a little help already creating the scenario.
Let's set the scene: I gave each team member there detailed scenario that encompassed their fears and stressors. I let them ponder it for a few minutes as I stepped out of the room, just outside the door. My teammates were a bit irritated with me but, it served a point.
When I came back in I asked each of them to do the following: Stand up, and to sit back down. Yes, this added more irritation. Fold hands in their lap. I told everyone to inhale slowly, deeply and as quietly as possible. Hold it for at least 15 seconds, longer if possible. Then to exhale, as quite as possible. Then repeat. And repeat again. So, a total of 3 sets of slow, controlled inhales and exhales. Three sets.
I asked each of them how they felt and they all looked at each other and then back at me with smirks on their faces. You see, my breathing technique, made them stop and not think about the irritation I caused. I know it's just a breathing exercise but, it is slow and controlled. In essence, the focus put on the act itself reduces the stress level.
If you don't believe me sit here at the computer right now and try it out for yourself. Here you go:
1) stand up and then sit down
2) fold hands in your lap
3) inhale slowly and deeply
4) hold it for at least 15 seconds
5) exhale slowly and deeply
6) repeat steps 1 through 5 (trust me, this works)
7) repeat steps 1 through 5
See, what did I tell you? Did it take the edge off the irritation? You see. It's amazing what a little breathing will do for you.
It was about 10 years ago that I began this little ritual. I did just today, yesterday, and last week. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back and breathe.
If you want to, go ahead and make a "tweek" if you need to and make the ritual your own. I typically don't stand anymore but, on ocassion I just might. At times you might catch me with my eyes closed.
Remember, it's the little things. And some things aren't worth getting upset ever. They just aren't.
Have a wonderful Monday evening! And don't forget to just breathe.
Images via here and here