When we’re stressed, beyond busy and our minds are cluttered, it might seem a bit simplistic to take the good old-fashioned advice of stopping to catch our breath. Can this really take the busy-ness away?
My clients and I have had some interesting conversations recently about this. We discussed how helpful breathing can be especially when combined with gently observing what is going on around us. In light of the growing research into the benefits of integrating mindfulness practices and meditation practices into our daily routine, stepping back to pause and to take a breath has much going for it.
This is not a ‘how to’ email. Instead I simply want to share some of the thoughts and reactions my clients and I have had when we stop to breathe and observe:
- Even when we are at our busiest, 2-3 minutes of calm breathing helps us to gain clarity and perspective
- I now observe what’s going on with ‘fascination’, it changes things
- Just a few moments to step back and observe what’s happening gives me distance
- It’s fantastic: these techniques can bring some clarity
- What I like about this technique is that I can still be busy – I love being busy – yet I operate calmly
- I found it interesting to observe objectively what I was doing when I interrupted an important meeting to answer a phone call
- When I am objective about what is happening in and around me I am clearer about what to do next
- Sometimes it might be about slowing down, but sometimes it’s not…I like that I can make conscious choices
- I feel like I can handle so much more, even if the pace hasn’t changed
- I regularly come back to this technique at many moments in the day. It’s like a mini-regrouping of my internal resources. I get clarity about what to do next
These are timely thoughts as we (here in the southern hemisphere) head into Spring. Let’s remember to stop often, to take a breath or two, and to regain our focus and perspective.