The last day, and last challenge is: Just Breathe.
It’s something I tell my 3 year old, and myself, whenever emotions are getting out of hand.
It’s something I need to practice more intentionally throughout my day, not just in crisis mode, for a greater state of overall peace.
If you’ve ever attended a yoga or Pilates class, your instructor probably put attention on your breathing patterns. What if you do that right now? Just observe your breath.
With just a little attention, you can work towards fuller breaths
- Make your inhale and exhale a little longer
- Breathe into the sides, back, and bottom of your lungs
- Take a little pause at the end of each inhale and exhale
Why Would You Want to Concentrate on Your Breath?
You may have heard of the “fight or flight” effect, when your heart is pounding and breathing is rapid. Although it’s helpful if you need to flee danger, the effects over time can be toxic if your body is under constant stress, yet the threat is only in your mind
The opposite state, when the parasympathetic nervous system is active, is “rest and digest”. Instead of waiting for your body – and breathing – to react to whatever thoughts and triggers happen to be around you, be intentional about creating a long, calm, deep and even breath. This can signal back to your body that, “everything’s OK” (moving you from the “fight or flight” state back to “rest and digest”).
Bottom line: Being conscious of your breathing, and breathing deeply, will help you deal with stress in a positive way and induce relaxation.
Do Nothing For 2 Minutes
Here is an exercise: Do nothing but focus on your breathing for 2 minutes.
Sounds quick and easy? It’s harder than you think!
I like this tool Do Nothing for 2 Minutes. You get to listen to soothing ocean waves as a timer counts down 2:00. If you hit your keyboard or mouse before the timer is done, it’s a fail and you have to start over.
Try it a couple times a day, and let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Day 1 Challenge: Focus on the truth about your body
Day 2 Challenge: List 10 things you love about your body
Day 3 Challenge: Throw away your magazines
Day 4 Challenge: Take some time to rest
Day 5 Challenge: Go for a walk
Day 6 Challenge: Drink fancy water with lemon