Autumn Is On The Way
Can you feel the change in the air? My mother always used to ask me this around this time of the year. And she was right. There is a shift in the air at this time of year. Somehow, it feels less intense outside, even though temperatures can still reach as high as they did at the peak of the summer. There is a coolness that catches you every once in a while. Sleeping at night is easier. Windows can be open and we do not need to rely incessantly on our air conditioners. All of these signs point directly to the return of children to school and for us adults, the return to a more routine way of life. Even for those of us who either do not have children, or have children that are grown and done with the school system, the approach of autumn means a return to a way of life that is usually more stressed and more demanding. The long days of summer, with their “whatever” attitude, are starting to pack their bags and head to more southerly regions.
Do Autumn Differently This Year
For some, the return to the regular routine of life means the return to the familiar feelings of stress and anxiety. But what if we enter autumn differently this year, and avoid those unwanted feelings altogether? If you are game for this new approach, start with gaining awareness. Catch the feelings as they start to creep up on you. Notice where in your body you feel the tension. Is it in your neck? Your jaw? Maybe it’s in your stomach. Become aware of thoughts you are saying, either out loud or to yourself silently, that are negative, predict a pending doom, or a sense of overwhelm.
After you become aware, stop and congratulate yourself. Awareness is always the first step towards change. And now for some deep breathing. Amazingly, something as simple as deep breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety and calm you when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Find Time to Breathe Deeply
When we feel stressed, the body does what it is naturally designed to do, it goes into flight or fight mode. For some this results in an elevated heartbeat, tension in the body, or shallow breathing. The key is to change how the body reacts. The best way to do this is to change our breathing. When we feel better, we can think better.
It’s All About Technique
There is a proper technique to deep breathing. Find a place where you are comfortable, such as a chair or lying on your back. Make sure you are in a quiet place, free from distractions. Put one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest and take a deep, slow breath in through your nose. Notice the hand on your stomach rises. Now breathe out through pursed lips, just like you are blowing candles out on a birthday cake. Next, do a slow, full exhale. Do this for two to three minutes. Practise as much as you can and you will soon realize that you can encourage a sense of well-being whenever you need it.
So remember as we move into this new season; something as simple as breathing differently can result in feeling differently instantly.
To our health and wellbeing,