The other day, as I was presenting my one-minute commercial about my mind/body work to a networking group, I realized how many people just flat don’t know what I’m about to tell you. First, remember that no matter what life throws at you, it’s your response that makes the difference. What you choose to do with the challenge makes all the difference.
So if you are challenged, what’s the first thing you should do?
Take a deep breath. Not just any old gut-sucking-in breath–a breath through your nose. A very deep breath through your nose. Try it. Right now. You’ll notice how it slows everything down–your respiration rate, your heart rate, your thoughts–that’s because the steady stream of air passing over the nerves in your nasal passages sends the message to your brain that everything is fine. Relaxation hormones are recruited and released by your brain. You feel better. Calmer.
You can think.
If you instead respond to a challenge by breathing rapidly and feeling panicky, your brain gets the message that something’s wrong, and slips into reptilian mode: fight or flight. Cortisol surges, your heart rate increases, you breathe even more quickly, and there you are, with an entire battalion of hormones at the ready and racing into your blood stream, but you are stuck in your chair. Result? Stress. Stress is just a body flooded with these hormones with no where to go. That’s toxic.
So next time life throws you a challenge, remember, take a deeeeeep breath through your nose. And exhale slowly. And fully.
It will change your life.