It’s amazing to me the amount of research that is now being done on the connection between body, mind and emotions.
The connection is indisputable. Many medical doctors and scientists have embraced it and try to leverage it in their treatment of patients.
Tuning in to this connection can help you enhance your health, overcome specific illness — and help you improve the way you go through life.
In particular, a lot of research has been done in the area of managing stress. Herbert Benson, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, popularized this area with his book, “The Relaxation Response”. He and his team proved the effects that relaxation techniques, including deep breathing, meditation and a positive outlook, can have on patient outcomes and health.
Subsequently, Dr. Benson performed follow-up research that lead to his book, “The Breakout Principle”. Here, he demonstrated how the same principles and techniques can help each of us relax and think more clearly as we handle the stresses and challenges of each day. This, in turn, can help us perform at a higher level and get into the “flow” of whatever activity we are doing.
You recognize the flow when it happens — although you are not aware you are in it until afterwards.
Have you ever spent hours immersed in some activity, only to look up at the clock and be surprised at how much time has passed? You were experiencing the flow.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get into the flow. If you have a gazillion things going on, or are pressed for time, you may feel blocked. You may be unable to relax sufficiently. Or you may be draining your own energy by allowing negative thoughts or emotions to take roost in your brain.
These feelings can be especially cumbersome when you are at work, perhaps facing a stressful meeting, discussion or situation. Or, maybe you are having trouble getting your kids to comply with a request.
No matter what the situation, to “unblock” yourself and handle the stress of the moment, I recommend you try a technique called “Attitude Breathing”.
This specific technique was developed by the Institute of Heart Math, which studies body-mind-emotional connections.
It’s easy to do.
(1) Focus on a person or situation for which you are really grateful. Cultivate a feeling of gratitude as you slowly relax and soften your breathing.
(2) Next, shift your attention to your heart and solar plexus area. Acknowledge what you are feeling. Ask yourself which feeling or attitude you could substitute that would be more constructive in the current situation.
For example, you might tell yourself to “stay calm”, “stay neutral”, “get all the facts before I go off”, etc.
(3) Pretend to feel and breathe this new, more constructive attitude in through your heart. Breathe it out through your solar plexus and stomach to “anchor” it. Continue to breathe in this way until you feel like the new attitude has settled in to your solar plexus and heart.
This simple but powerful technique helps you anchor your inner power and calm, and bring your thoughts and emotions back into balance.
It’s great to do first thing in the morning, or any time you are feeling stressed, anxious, or overly emotional.
Lately, I’ve had to do quite a bit of traveling. Ah yes, the joys of airline travel, missed connections, late night arrivals when you have to be in important meetings the next day, adjusting to different time zones, etc., etc.
Don’t get me wrong – I love to travel. It’s just when the trips come one after the other, it can be a bit much. And, even though I sometimes bring my family with me, I can’t do this every time and I do miss them when I am away.
All this can add to stress levels. So I make sure that I devote at least a few minutes every morning when I first wake up, and a few minutes in the evening, to do this exact exercise. I focus on what I am grateful for – usually my family, my health, all the opportunities in my life. I breathe in the feelings of joy, gratitude and peace I get when I think about these things, and “anchor” them in my heart.
I find this simple exercise really helps ground me and remind me of what is important in my life, and the ultimate reasons why I am working and traveling.
This is why I wanted to share this wonderful little practice with you.
You Can Do It!
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!” www.BestBreathingExercises.com
P.S. If you have an interest in discovering even more highly effective breathing and visualization techniques, consider the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume 1: Invigorate & Rejuvenate. In the course, I guide you through breathing exercises which help you instantly relax and tranform stress…and have you feeling in control within minutes. Claim your program CDs today at the Best Breathing Exercises website.
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2012