Invite your calm self in.
Do you know how to calm yourself? All that talk floating around about the breath being the key to calm...? It really works. In fact, conscious breathing breaks can impact digestion, reduce anxiety, kick up gray matter growth, and lower blood pressure.
Want to see for yourself? Try this right now:
1) Sit down
2) Close your eyes (of course after you've read all the steps!)
3) Inhale for a count of 4
4) Hold your breath for a count of 7
5) Exhale on a count of 8
6) Repeat two more times
Let those deep breaths settle in before you read further. Notice the difference? Guess what - you can do this any time of your day and it's good for calming stress, giving your nervous system a break, and relieving anxiety.
While still sitting, soften your face and your eyes. Start paying attention to what is happening in your environment. What do you notice? What tickles your ears and make them listen? What can you smell on a good, long inhale? How do your lungs sound when breathing? What temperature is the air around you? What is happening close by? Or off in the distance? If thoughts start taking you away from what is actually happening around you, notice them, release them ... and return to now.
Try noticing what is happening without forming any judgement; instead just notice how the environmental stimuli make your body feel; identify if they make you feel more or less relaxed. If there are birds singing, do your shoulders relax, or if there is woodpecker drilling a tree, does a part of you tense up? Stay in this mode for as your like.
You've just given your body a treat and your brain a break. This is almost always my first step before starting any creative project, including writing, painting, or even just doodling. It brings me back to my inner self. I hope it does the same for you.
Try the 4-7-8 conscious breathing break daily for a week and see what happens.
NEXT POST I will help you use this approach when starting a creative project. Have a fantabulous couple of weeks!
Sending Creative JuJu,
P.S. If you want to learn more (or get more proof) that breathing breaks are helpful, check these articles: