Take a moment to just breathe…
Take three breaths. Breathe in deep and blow it out slowly; feel your diaphragm engage.
Alright, deep breathe in… now blow out slowly.
One more time; in…. and out….
Now, how do you feel?
Personally, I sure feel a heck of a lot better when I use mindful meditation techniques like deep breathing to reset and regroup every now and then when stress gets the best of me.
It’s inevitable- life is stressful! Think about it…even those people who appear to have all their #$%! together have stress in their lives too. Trying to figure out how you’re going to meet your boss’s deadline, how you’re going to get the kids to practice and make your dentist appointment, or what to make for dinner when you have zero food in your fridge are all stressful situations.
The problem with stress is it can lead to a plethora of health complications, including high blood pressure, anxiety, and even emotional eating to name a few. When you add up the physical changes that can result from stress, your heart is placed at an increased risk.
With heart disease being the number one cause of death in the United States, I think its’s important we chat about important things besides diet and exercise that can help improve our health, like mindfulness.
Mindfulness can affect multiple areas in your life if you focus on incorporating it into your daily routine. Just think how great you felt after taking those deep breaths; I’m willing to bet you had more clarity in your thoughts, felt more relaxed and even more apt to tackle the items you need to get done, right?
For me, mindfulness helps me to regroup and recognize “not to sweat the small stuff”. When I take some time to let my mind wander and let go of the stressors I’ve focused on, I have this epiphany on what really matters. It’s refreshing to remember that at the end of the day I have a husband who loves me unconditionally, a roof over my head, my health and a passion so deep for my career that I am excited to work everyday.
The thing that I think helps me practice mindfulness is finding the right outlet. As much as I try to be more of a yogi, I just haven’t been able to make yoga part of my daily routine. But, I do know that a walk around the block in the early evening is so serene that I immediately feel more relaxed when I get back. Also, aromatherapy sprays and candles are #amazing! I recently picked up some lavender spray and am #obsessed. A light spray can truly work wonders on settling your nerves and releasing that anxiety.
Whenever I get frustrated, I try to do one of these things so I don’t end up face first in a bowl of powdered peanut butter with chocolate chips! Yes, you know it’s not a secret, I too engage in emotional eating at times when I’m stressed. But, I know when I take the time to be mindful, I am able to control my impulse urge to snack and instead put my energies into something that is healthier.
How do you practice mindfulness? Feel free to comment here or share on social media using #shawsimpleswaps!