Take a Breather

By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

Well we did it…Holidays are over. For most of us, that means we are now in waiting mode. Waiting for spring or summer. Hibernating like a bear. If we had a clicker, we could fast forward; but, unfortunately, until H.G. Wells truly invents a time machine, we are stuck in the moment, which I am here to tell you IS NOT A BAD THING! This quieter season can be a good time to go inward and learn more about ourselves and our true wishes, wants and goals. It’s a good time to take a break or “take a breather.” Literally. It’s a good time to focus on breathing.

Survival experts have something called, The Rule of 3’s. You can go 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, and 3 minutes without air. Three minutes. Obviously, there are cases of people surviving longer without food and water, but very few cases of people surviving without breathing for more than a few minutes.

Let’s take that fact and let it sink in. Try holding your breath for a full minute. You go ahead, I’ll pass…that puts me into a panicky feeling. It sure does make you appreciate the gift of air, doesn’t it? So, why are we taking it for granted? We acknowledge every bite of food we take… we even share what we ate with others on social media. I see your pictures. We look forward to that cup of tea or cold drink when we are thirsty. Yet nobody thinks twice about the gift of breathing. That is unless you meditate.  Meditation is the acknowledgment of your breath and this is a perfect time of year to give it a try while you hibernate and wait. Nervous? I get it. I was afraid to meditate when I was younger because I thought that meant I would go “out to space” and lose my sense of control. As a younger person who had panic attacks, I was not very good at letting myself go. I was 100% wrong. Meditation calms those fears and anxieties. It calms the stress triggers and brings you into the moment. Nothing before or after is important. Meditation is a gift to yourself.  There are many ways to meditate and it may take a few tries before you find the one that works for you. Here are a few free and easy ideas to get you started.

Guided meditation: Free on YouTube. Google whatever you want. For example, “guided meditation on how to stay positive” will bring up multiple choices.Narrow it down if you wish, to something such as, “5 minutes morning guided meditation for positivity.” Or maybe, “guided meditation on how to attract financial stability.” It’s your wants, wishes and goals, so you decide.

Guided Sleep Meditation:  Free on YouTube.  Google “insomnia or guided meditation for sleep.” I find Jason Stephenson’s meditations are the best, but you may prefer a female or another male voice. These are great for winding down. You can google a purpose like, “letting go of stress,” so while you sleep, your mind is working on letting go, so you wake up refreshed.

Self-Hypnosis:  This is where you focus on your inhales and exhales as you repeat your desires.  If your train of thought wanders, you just bring it back to the inhales and exhales and your visualizations of success in your goals. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Surely you have 5 minutes.

You will be surprised where your mind wanders during focused breathing and meditation. Goals become clearer. Answers appear. Your day is just better. So instead of just waiting and holding your breath, why not take a breather and get your best life going.