Here’s a super, simple 20-second stress busting technique.
Stress caused by information overload is a universal problem. I’m not the first person to talk about this, and I won’t be the last. So what can I add to this conversation?
It’s a simple as this.
Stop whatever you’re doing. Right now!
- STOP. Yes, really stop!
- Stand or sit still.
- Take 3 slow breaths.
- As you breathe in; count 1, 2, 3.
- As you breathe out; count 1, 2, 3.
- DON’T do anything else! DON’T think about anything else!
- Just BREATHE! (This will take just 20 seconds.)
- Then get on with the day.
Q. You want me to add another thing to my day? I’m already over-loaded.
A. No, I’m suggesting you DO NOTHING several times a day.
Q. When should I do this?
A. You can do this exercise any time, any where. In the lift; before every meeting; before every phone call; when you don’t know how to reply to that tricky email; at the traffic lights – even in the bathroom.
Q. What will others think?
A. No one needs to know. You don’t even need to shut your eyes (but it may help).
Q. How does it work?
A. Focusing solely on your breath several times a day will slow everything down. Your heart rate, your blood pressure and your feelings of overwhelm. Over time this is life changing.
Q. How can I make this a habit?
A. Associate it with certain habits you already have like: Thinking about food. Getting a coffee. Checking the time. Checking Facebook!
Pick one, any one – and every time catch yourself, STOP and take 3 mindful breaths.
Q. How will I know it’s working?
A. The benefits will be obvious.
1. You will feel calmer.
2. You will always have a place to go when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
3. Your heart will feel lighter – and with that your mood.
4. You’ll off-load negative thoughts.
5. You’ll start to notice things you’ve missed before.
The effects are immediate. But once you’ve used this 20-second technique for a while, you’ll start to notice other changes.
Here’s what I’ve noticed.
* I stopped taking myself so seriously.
* I don’t feel as gloomy about things, especially those things that are outside of my control.
* I accept there are things outside of my control.
* I’m far more aware of all the crap thoughts in my head.
* Decision-making is easier. I’m less hung up about making the wrong decision.
* I trust my intuition more.
* I sleep better.
Here’s a blog I wrote earlier on 5 proven ways to dump bad habits and reboot your life.
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.
Take 3 breaths. Count 1,2,3 – I’m breathing in… and 1,2,3 I’m breathing out...
That’s it. You don’t need to tell anyone. This is your little secret.
Do it for yourself, but don’t be surprised if other people start to notice the difference.
I’d love to hear how this works for you. Please leave a comment.