With all the disasters and calamities going on, I want to offer something that, although simple, may help some of you through your trying times.  Those of us who escaped these latest hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and bee attacks (yes, bees attacked people at a shopping center in CA a couple days ago!) feel somewhat helpless in how we can best support you.  We have already prayed, donated money, prayed, given food, prayed, and prayed some more; but we still have the desire to do more.

Offering virtual hugs is a bit trite, but I want to offer that first.

Here is a practical tip that some of you might not have thought of.  I hope it helps in some way as you struggle back to normalcy:

STRESS BUSTER TIP: Just breathe! 

Many times we walk around so stressed out that we don’t realize how shallow our breath is.  We have our shoulders hunched, our jaw tight and hands clenched.  With our focus on so many things, we don't allow ourselves to even 'feel'.  All of this adds to the stress we are already experiencing.  Whatever is causing the stress may not change, or at least not right away, but how you experience the stress can.

Do This:

Drop your shoulders, loosen your jaw, and unclench your hands.

Then, take a deep breath through your nose, really fill up your lungs, hold for two counts and then slowly let it out through the nose or mouth. And when you think you can’t exhale anymore, push out one last time.*

*I know some say breathe out of your mouth, but research has shown that mouth breathing is not as effective as the nose. I say do what is most comfortable for you as both have benefits over stress. 

(Nose Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing: Optimal Breathing Mastery)

Doesn't matter where you are; when you feel yourself tightening up or becoming short-tempered, repeat about 3-6 times in a row.

On the last exhale, smile as you go back to regular breathing.  Say a quick prayer of gratitude, being thankful for the breath and life you have.

Repeat throughout the day, minimum two times daily and more if stress is high.

This simple technique will help train your body to breathe deeply and relax more which will reduce your stress.  Enjoy this tip and please share this with others so they, too can reduce their stress and give themselves some relief.

I know it's not much, but hopefully, it will be a positive for you!

As hard as it is right now, just know that I believe in you!

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited