Changing Gears

Interior in a short nose SAAB 96. Photographed...

In driving a car or 4 wheeler, it goes through a transition as you increase speed.  On an automatic, it will switch into a different gear to make the engine work easier.   On a standard transmission, you have to make that shift your self.  While I really do not understand the mechanics of it all, ( as you can tell from the not so scientific description), I have learned to listen and hear the whine telling me it is time to shift.  On the 4 wheeler, I not only hear the change, but feel it, as it gives me a nice little jerk as I shift into this higher gear.

This week my life has shifted into a much faster pace.  Adding a 26 hour a week internship with some very special kids to my normal life and coaching schedule has been challenging.   I have felt a little bit of a whine as I have worked to shift myself into a higher gear.  One of my favorite ways to give myself that jump into a higher gear is to ask those super, empowering questions!!

If I were to ask, “Why am I so tired?” or Why am I feeling overwhelmed?” , it would give me a different focus than if I asked myself “How did I make a difference today?” or ” What amazing thing did I learn?’”  If you ask your self the same empowering question each day, your brain will automatically look for ways to find the answer. You will automatically even start changing behavior to  able to give yourself a stronger answer!! It is amazing how this works!  This does take a little thought to decide what are some empowering questions I could ask?  But, it really is not so taxing on your brain as staying in these old patterns with  a negative or even neutral question.  It is empowering if it moves you forward – emotionally, mentally or physically!!

Another technique for ramping up to a higher gear is to change your physiology.  What is your body doing?  Take a few minutes to listen to your breath.  When I get busy and overwhelmed I do forget to breathe. Those shallow breathes do not support me in the need to do more.  We can make a quick change in the way we feel or perform, by changing our breathing.  We can relax or stimulate ourselves with different breathing techniques.  Here is one I like from Dr Weil.  http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html         He also has a great one for relaxation.

Exercise 1:
The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)

The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

  • Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
  • Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
  • Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.

If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.

 

How will you have a wonderful day?

 

 

 

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