Sometimes I find myself scheduling my days, my weeks, my life to within an inch of… it’s life & I leave myself no time to breathe. Some days my head is racing & I can feel the overwhelm start rearing it’s fugly head… Can you relate? Now of course there’s a time for busyness & for doing – I’m a doer, love to do – BUT it becomes addictive to be that busy & we need time to think, to be, to just stop for a minute & breathe.
Do you even know how to breathe? I mean REALLY breathe. I thought I’d got that down pat – being alive & all but seems I was doing it wrong. Until I found Dr Libby Weaver. She taught me how to actually take a real breath & once you start I think you’ll be as addicted as me. Please do yourself a favour & buy/download/listen to her books (Rushing Women’s Syndrome is great) & teach yourself the magic breathing thing that I think saved me from overwhelm about three thousand times over the past few years.
Here’s a little beginners lesson: To start with we need to start breathing from our belly, like a child does to really feel the full effect. Long & deep. Fill yourself all up and let it all go. It has an instant effect on your body & on your mind. You’ll feel it. Go on try it. Sit just a little higher & breathe to fill your stomach from the bottom to the top. It’s called diaphragmatic breathing & it actually does send a ‘calm your farm’ signal to your entire nervous system. Keep doing it, can you feel that yet? It’s what relief feels like. A feeling I don’t feel enough in my crazy life.
When to do it? Try it at every red light, when your computer does that spinning wheel thing, every time you boil the kettle, whenever you are ‘forced’ to just be for even a second – here’s your chance to get back into your flow. Make it a habit & trust me you’ll feel the difference. Did you know it even improves your digestive system which allows it to focus on other things like processing food properly & when that functions better & your body doesn’t feel like it’s in flight or fight mode (which I feel like I live in some days – esp driving on Sydney roads) it can focus on losing weight!!! AND breathing is how your body expels calories… YES THROUGH YOUR BREATH – Mind blown!!! See you wanna do it now don’t you!
Oh & we could say ‘no’ every now & then, that would also help to. And if not ‘no’ maybe ‘next week’ instead of tomorrow. Give your day some breathing time. Things pop up unexpectedly, kids need our time or friends need us to return their phone call or have that coffee we’ve been meaning to have. Is your friend really ok or have you just been too frantic to find out? We need a bloody cup of tea & to get our head straight every now & then. I love something (everything) Tony Robbins says ‘if you don’t have 10 mins a day, you don’t have a life’… BOOM. That one got me right here. He’s so right. He’s one of the busiest guys on the planet (have you seen ‘I am not your guru’?) but he makes 10 mins a day for gratitude, to say thanks (pray), to focus on the good things he has, visualise his best life & to breathe! If I don’t have 10 mins for me in a day – I don’t feel like I’ve got a life!
Give yourself some space.
Here’s what ‘space & a deep breathe or 10 will do for you…
It makes you more patient, more kind, calm (therefore able to THINK) more creative – those big ideas & problem solving all kicks in when I’m walking along the beach. It gives you head space to tackle your dilemmas & even for other people’s problems – the ones you care about & need you. Lowers your blood pressure* *proven fact. You remember important stuff you’d forgotten. You sleep better. You can figure out what you’re having for dinner before 6pm! You can hear your body tell you what it needs (rest, to move, a drink of water) hello! Being busier than everyone else doesn’t really impress anyone. Actually, you’re probably not busier you might just seem it – maybe you could be calm & get more things done, who knows? Try it! Now I think that’s the prize here – how to get as much into this life without looking like a chicken being chased with an axe! But good stuff, meaningful stuff. Forget that elaborate meal you are planning on making (unless you really love cooking it) or doing things that are only other people’s priorities, not necessarily yours or your families & work out what you can be doing to simplify.
Life ain’t a race to the end & even if it was the tortoise won anyway.