I was in conversation with a new client and she shared how exhausted she felt, juggling everything she had on her plate. Throughout the day, she would feel drained by the demands of her job with little down time to take care of herself. She also told me that she felt anxious and up tight as times as well. Lastly, she reported that she felt better when she exercised, or got involved in other activities, but had little time.
Sound familiar? Been there, done it, and got the t-shirt…
I am reminded of the old Saturday Night Live commercial for Puppy Uppers and Doggy Downers–Special doggy treats. It was quite funny to watch the dog immediately perk up, and then conk out. Hmmm, maybe that is why we love the energy drinks and wine too!
I have a less expensive options with more beneficial side effects.
Simplicity is my specialty: BREATHE. Yes, I know this suggestion is overused and I realize you are breathing or you would not be reading this newsletter, but when you think about it breath is always available. Let me entice you with a few benefits:
- Breath eliminates toxins.
- Breath massages your internal organs with blood and oxygen (and who doesn’t like a good organ massage?)
- Breath is free.
- You have your lungs with you everywhere you go.
- Breath relaxes your body.
- Breath will help you to anchor your mind back to the moment.
- A regular breathing practice will stimulate the relaxation response–which lowers your blood pressure, regulates your heart rate and shunts blood to the digestive system by balancing the involuntary nervous system.
In a nutshell: The more breath, the more oxygen; the more oxygen, the more vitality.
Convinced? Even if you are not, read on and give these simple practices a try:
To calm down (your Doggie Downer):
- Relax your belly. If you tend to suck in your belly allow yourself to let it all hang out for a few moments–nobody will know, I promise!
- Take a slow deep inhale through your nose, and count how long that took–it is usually somewhere around 3-6 beats of breath.
- On the exhale, add two more beats, so the exhale is longer than the inhale. Slowly exhale through your mouth as if you were blowing out a candle.
- Repeat three times while keeping your focus on the breath.
For a quick perk up (your Puppy Upper):
- Take a slow deep inhale through your nose, and count how long that took- it is usually somewhere around 3-6 beats of breath.
- Now, instead of making the exhale longer, make it shorter. It will be a faster exhale than inhale. Exhale through your mouth as if you were blowing out a candle. Repeat three times.
- If you tend to be an over achiever, do not strain.
These simple practices will support you throughout your day. Allow yourself to be a breathing machine and you will notice more energy, more focus, and calm. It might not taste as great as coffee or wine, but it is less fattening and free. Enticed???