Life can be so unpredictable….with jobs, significant others, friends, family obligations, weddings (Neely!), that sometimes we don’t even know which way is up. It is easy to get overwhelmed, and that is when stress starts to take over.
As a meditation teacher, one of my goals is to help people figure out how to hit “the pause button” during stressful situations and handle them with more ease and grace. Meditation takes you from a reactive place to a more responsive one, and we all know what can happen when we react and fly off the handle instead of responding to something thoughtfully. That is when we take things personally, make assumptions and loose our cool. Let’s not even go there right now! Instead let’s talk about a better way to handle stress.
Taking even just three long, slow, deep breaths can reset your nervous system and take you from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest.” When you feel anxiety setting in, the first thing you should do is stop and breathe.
You can also have a mantra or affirmation that you say when you start to feel stressed. An example of one to use when your to do list feels overwhelming is, “I have time to complete all my tasks with ease.” Say that five or six times out loud and tackling your list will feel much more doable. One of my favorite mantras from Gabby Bernstein is “peace begins with me,” and I use that one often. Just be sure to use a positive statement and the present tense.
Taking a 4-7-8 breath is another great way to combat stress. To do this breathe in for a count of 4, hold it for a count of 7, and exhale for a count of 8. Doing this 3 times will do wonders for your nervous system and your anxiety!
If you would like to find out more about meditation and mindfulness, visit my website at www.atozenmeditation.com The 5 Essentials of Meditation is my gift to you when you sign up for my newsletter, and it is incredibly helpful in getting you started with meditation. I also offer Intro to Meditation classes in Houston or via Skype, so don’t let anything get in your way of learning how to meditate. Meditation changed my life, and I would love to inspire you to incorporate it into yours as well.