Breathe In the Distance

Two Things

In times of difficulty and internal stress, there are two things that, I think, help.

  1. Box breathing – It is a reminder of being present. When the world feels like it is about to collapse, a good box breath session can bring you, mentally, back to the present.
  2. Movie Scene – If your life is a movie, remember, this part is a scene. Any scene can have any ending. Often, it is up to the hero to make a choice, based on how he or she deals with the information provided.

So, when you feel that thrust of “uncomfortability” is creeping up on you, take a moment to get yourself present with a breathing exercise and look at the long game.

 

Don’t Rush – Box Breathe and Chill :-)

How do you get out the bed?

Your technique matters:

  • When you leap, you are on a one-track, emotionally led mindset. When you jump out of bed on Christmas morning or race to catch your international flight, the energy behind them is the same. It’s frantic, and you miss everything except your objective (oooh presents…)
  • When you slither, you are groggy, and you meander. You spend a lot of time trying to orient yourself. Your mind isn’t healthy yet. You hope you don’t crash into anything on your way to the bathroom. It’s not fun, and potentially painful (ouch!)
  • When you do so calmly, you are alert. You smoothly get out of bed as you stretch, check the clock, and yawn. You feel like you have a choice.  This form of waking up is ideal. (Yay!)
The first two ways of getting up are reactive states, either by prompt or circumstance.
The last way is a proactive state, where you have the energy to decide and the head space to think through it.
This mindset doesn’t just affect getting up, but everything we do.  Sometimes the other two states are necessary, but only in emergencies. In life, being proactive is better.

Exercise

  1. Think about the act of what you are doing, is it reactive or proactive?
  2. If it’s reactive, ask yourself, do you have to be?
  3. If it doesn’t have to stop for a second breathe deeply for 4 seconds in, hold your breath for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds (if you are curious – this is box breathing, and it’s a Navy Seal technique).
  4. Reassess and get proactive 🙂
 Every once in a while, just ask yourself if you are reactive. If you are, this exercise gets you back into that working space.

You Can’t Run From Problems (or Fight…or Ignore…)

Fight or flight only stops you from finding solutions that work.

Quicksand scares me.

What is quicksand? Quicksand is loose, wet sand that yields easily to pressure and sucks in anything rests on it.

At first, you don’t notice, the quicksand drags your feet. You ignore it.

You’re trapped. 

There is nowhere to go. You’re stuck.

  • Running won’t get you out.In fact, running makes it worse.
  • You can’t ignore it anymore; ignoring got you in this mess. 
  • Fighting the facts won’t change the situation.

Sound familiar? It’s the same structure as most of our problems.

You don’t notice a problem at first. Then it nips at your heels. You ignore, run away or fight it.

Like quicksand, all of those things make the problem worse.

The solution to quicksand, like that of solving problems, is to understand your environment. Tactics, such as breathing, help slow you down. It allows you to take in more information. Information helps you craft solutions that matter.

Breathing allows you to take in more information. Information helps you craft solutions that matter.

If you allow yourself to default into fight or flight, you stop the flow of information and drastically drop the amount information you receive. That means your solution, if you get to one, isn’t ideal.

If you are wondering about the solution for quicksand, it’s simple.

Float.

Simple, right?

How many problems in your life are solvable by a simple solution?

You won’t know unless you slow down and face things as you see them.