Cancer is not the number killer in the world. And the reason is? Stress is.
No matter how many of us out here would like to impress upon others that we are living the life and that everything is like a whole bed of roses, our kids don’t raise our blood pressure, that we don’t worry about finances and the car is working like clockwork all the time, I think most of us can safely assume that there is some form of dirt under the carpet.
Stress is not an exclusive emotion, condition, reaction, feeling or disease…it is human. If it is human to be sometimes stressed-out, then there is nothing to hide. Being a work-at-home mom mean that stress is an everyday friend. Hello, stress: in the morning and Bye, stress: at night. So, I would like to work something out for everyone else who feels this debilitating emotion on an everyday basis and hopefully, it will help you deal with it too.
Almost everybody else must have shared with you how they deal with stress, so you probably know all about the ‘me time’, ‘a glass of wine’, ‘treat yourself well’, ‘hot soak with good music playing in the background’, ‘get support get help’, ‘exercise’, ‘meditate’, ‘talk to someone’ and also the ‘read a book’ advises.
I will skip all of that. Let’s go micro.
When a person is stressed out, they tend to breathe very sharp, shallow breaths. So, what I would like you to do is to observe yourself. If your lifestyle is anything like mine, your mornings would nice, slow and sleepy and it escalates around lunch time. Ok, during this time, remind yourself to watch your breathing. Consciously think about it and observe your thinking and your breathing.
No, I am asking you to go into meditative mode right smack in the middle of the day. What I am asking you to do is something incredibly simple – Watch. Your. Breath. If you were going through a tough time, you would notice that your breathing is jagged, short, shallow and fast. Sometimes you even stop breathing and you don’t even know it.
You don’t need a doctor or scientist to tell you that you are or were subconsciously hyperventilating or over-breathing. When you catch yourself doing this, notice that most of the time, when you are over-breathing, you are holding your breath and then breathing really quickly over a period of time and they are all rather shallow breaths. It is said that while normal people who are working under normal levels of stress breathes about 15 breaths a minute, those under too much pressure raise the number of breaths to right about 18 breaths a minute.
Those who are doing yoga or qigong or other types of slow-down exercises sometimes manages to bring their breathing rate down to 5 breaths a minute. That is radical. And that is not what I am asking you to do.
At the end of it all, all I am asking of you is to watch your breath, deepen it every now and again…and then watch it again. Repeat cycle.