Today is one of those days where my mind is all over the place. I took my son to get new glasses at the eye doctor this morning. Dropped a wad of cash there because eyeglasses are not cheap. Then came home thinking I need to check my bank account, write in my blog, clean up the dishes, decide what to make for dinner and oh, I want to start a new book. And I can’t forget that tonight is the night my son has his weekly guitar lesson and while he’s there I will dash over to Target to pick up anything I need in a half hour or less. So, while thinking of all these things, I’m letting the dog out and the neighbor’s german shepherd jumps the fence…again…and proceeds to chase my dog around while she’s trying to pee. Really? Again? I get annoyed when the kids knock on the door when I’m in the bathroom, but this is crossing some sort of private time rule here. Besides the fact that she has to go outside to begin with. Then my dog is inside barking like a maniac while I’m trying to shoo the other one back to her yard, but instead she’s trying to mark her territory in every corner of my yard. Did I mention my 3 year old is trying to take a nap?
Anyway, I digress, of course, because my mind is being pulled in a million different directions and I can’t stay focused on one little thing long enough to complete a thought and what I really need to do is…just breathe. I just need to be still for a minute and take a few deep breaths. Aaah. It’s amazing what the simple act of concentrated breathing can do for you. The minute stress is starting to weigh heavy, my muscles tighten, my breath becomes short and shallow and I can actually feel my blood pressure rising. But, when I just take a minute to breathe a few lasting, deep breaths, I can feel it start to melt away. My focus comes back and I can tackle one issue at a time. The worry that is building a wall, brick by brick, is slowly being taken down. The world is not ending. I close my eyes and picture a comforting place to be. The beach always works. The ebb and flow of the waves soothes my mind. I picture a cool breeze brushing across my cheek as I dig my toes into the sand.
Taking just a few moments to stop and breathe deeply can reset how your brain is reacting to stress. Stressful situations are everywhere. When the kids are running around the house, work is piling up on your desk, or you are stuck in traffic, you feel like it’s going to ruin your whole day. Take a few deep breathes. Rationalize the situation. It’s not the end of the world. The kids are having fun, the work will eventually get done and you will ultimately get to where you are going. There are things in life you can’t control, but you can control yourself. If you do not enjoy feeling like tearing your hair out, then maybe you should try this.
Just don’t go to your happy place when you are in traffic. Eyes on the road, please!