Spring is here and, a usual, change is in the air. This year, though, more and more of my friends and colleagues are experiencing disturbance in their personal and professional lives. Change this year has a capital letter in events around the world too. There are two ways to look at change: with fear and shrinking away from it or opening up to it.
I have never felt comfortable with change, I have held onto outdated thoughts and belief structures in my life thinking that better the devil you know that what is to come. Change has cause me a huge amount of anxiety because I have resisted it so much and yet this resistance has caused physical illness, mental distress and anguish. Once I realised that resistance is futile and change is something to be welcome life has resumed its course.
Most of us find change challenging; it makes us feel out of control; powerless; as if someone else was pulling the strings. These feelings of distress can translate into physical ailments which then compound the problem.
There are many techniques that can be used to help us relax and feel centred but one of the easiest, cheapest and that can be done anywhere is the breath. I used to be quite skeptical about this, thinking how can something as simple as breathing deeply help me regain a sense of perspective and get rid of this anxiety. It works if done correctly.
The aim is not to hyperventilate, the aim is to elongate the out breath to release toxins and to get back into our bodies instead of living in our heads. So deep breath in, count for 4, hold your breath, deep breath out count to 6 and start again for at least a minute. Feel your shoulders and neck relax. This works even better outdoors, go for a short walk during your lunch hour to oxygenate.
I have been doing this regularly for three weeks now and I have seen anxiety get under control, my thoughts are much clearer and I feel in control of my body. I cannot control the changes that are currently happening, I cannot change my friends and colleagues’ lifes and sort out the crisis but I can make myself feel better and that in turn will affect how I interact with people which in turn will affect how they interact with their surroundings and so on.
So … let’s get breathing!