We are halfway through the first month of this new year and I think we should pause today and just . . . breathe.
It seems like we take off out of the gate on January 1st with our brand new shiny lists of goals and resolutions. We are fired up! Nothing’s going to stop us and we are determined to make the most of every single second of every single minute of every single day. But, whew! That’s a tough pace to keep, isn’t it?
Let’s pause and just breathe for a minute. Yes, you have time. :)
Breathing is such a natural function we don’t give it much thought, but not breathing correctly can have a negative impact on our health and well being. Deep breathing can slow your heart rate, expand your lungs, and relaxes your muscles all of which help to calm an anxious spirit. It also stimulates the lymphatic system, which allows the lymphatic system to carry toxins away from your cells (Um, kind of important for any of us with lymphoma and/or cancers, and especially for those trying to prevent cancer, wouldn’t you say??).
I find when I’m stressed, I forget to breathe. I go longer between breaths and tend to take shallow breaths. That usually results in pain – a headache or tension in my neck and shoulders and even stomach upset. I find it difficult to think clearly when my breathing is shallow. Taking good, deep breaths clears my mind and helps me feel focused and refreshed.
Before we burn out or give up this year, maybe we should take a few minutes to breathe.
Don’t think about your to-do list.
Don’t think about the laundry waiting for you.
Don’t think about the meeting you have in an hour.
Don’t think about what you are going to cook (or pick up!) for dinner.
Don’t think about tomorrow, or next week.
Don’t think about how far behind you already are on your goals.
Don’t think about anything else.
Clear your thoughts.
Sit still and take a deep breath in.
Then exhale slowly.
Repeat five more times.
Release the anxiety.
Feel the tension fall off your shoulders.
Now, write this at the top of your to-do list:
Take a deep breath. Repeat as needed. :)