When life gets busy and crazy with a never-ending to-do list usually I tend to roll up my sleeves and get on the treadmill and keep going and going and going. It takes a while for me to realize I have gone too far over the edge. Yesterday, I thought about working out. Hmmmm how long has it been? Over a week…No wonder I am feeling lethargic and tense. Really, I know the fact is, the busier I am, the more I need to be aware of what it takes to keep me functioning – physically and emotionally. Just like I need to set up routines in my life to make sure the dishes are done every day and people have food to eat, I must have some routines in place to keep me balanced and energized. Everyone is different. For me I need to do these things every day!! Continue reading “First Things First”
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.
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?
- 3 Easy Breathing Exercises That Will Help You Feel Better At Work (businessinsider.com)
- Practicing Proper Yoga – Chapter 2 (thespiritualbooks.wordpress.com)
- Why we need to always breath…. (mindyyoga.wordpress.com)
Morning time is the best time to set your tone for the day. It is amazing to me how quickly a day can overwhelm me or take me in emotional places I don’t really want to go. When issues come up and people are annoying, I can become “that person” who is not who I want to be- critical and negative. Then I try to regroup by being angry at myself or withdrawing. This is not a pretty picture but I bet it happens sometimes to you too.
Establishing a great 15 minute morning routine which includes a power walk is my
answer to the not so pretty Sonja syndrome. Placing my shoes and shorts by my bed the night before, I can get going quickly and I am out the door before my mind is awake enough to make excuses.
1) Breathing -Starting with warming up ( I do tend to be slow in the morning) breath in deeply with some belly breaths. Relax your diaphragm and let the air go deeper each time. Focus on the breath. Then do four short breaths in and four out. This jump starts your metabolism and brings oxygen to your brain. I like to alternate the 4-4 breathing with the belly breaths. Doing 5 of each.
2) Gratitude– What are you thankful for? I start with God and all the goodness, love,
healing, etc., He has brought me. Then starting with my feet I am grateful for my body- strong muscles, ability to walk, heart and lungs working as they should for me every moment. Then moving outward, I am so thankful for those closest to me- my husband, each of my children. I picture their faces and say their names aloud as I experience the joy of these blessings to me. Another spiral outward and I am grateful for friends and people I work with. As I look around I am thankful for the sun coming up and bringing light and the birds and trees. Ahhh, life is good in the moment.
3)Encouragement– To encourage myself now in a way that will last all day, I use affirmations and repeat them over and over aloud and let them become strong in my mind and spirit. Repeat a phrase or verse that has meaning to you. If trying to lose weight try “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” . If trying to move forward in life you could try ” I have been created for all good things” or ” Each step brings me closer to my goal”. Trust me, this might feel a little strange at first, but it really works. As your words match the rhythm of your feet these truths become a natural part of who you are.
4)Visualize– Now think about your day to come. Picture the expected activities and even the unexpected ones. Imagine how you will respond with courage and grace in the midst of each one. This morning I pictured myself sitting at my desk writing this blog, having just the right words to encourage and support you in trying this new morning routine. I imagined myself packing for my trip, confident in what things were necessary to bring and what would just be extra weight. I saw each of my clients and our appointments today having fun and enjoying their progress.
5) Celebrate-Hooray- You are done and have given yourself a wonderful gift. End with gratitude for life and for this moment in time. If you want more of a workout then go for it. You can add more walking, jogging, dancing, yoga or whatever your doctor and you have decided works or just jump into your day.
My suggestion would be to try this just as I have written and then adapt to what feels comfortable to you. Let me know how it is going and what works in your life. Make it a great morning!!