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  • Katerina Perez

Simple mindfulness and breath exercise

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Do you live in fight and flight response all day?

Traffic, arguments with your kids, deadlines, work overload, presentations, emails, media, notifications - all of these may present as perceived stressors.

Yes, perceived, because none of those are causing immediate physical pain or harm to you, but our brain interprets them as threats to our survival. Our sympathetic nervous system gets activated. Stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol are released. Your heart rate and blood pressure goes up. Immune response is compromised. You are at the edge most of the time, reactive, and memory gets foggy. Some of us live in this constant state of tension and are so used to it, that it’s hard to recognize it. This can start effecting your health. You may develop high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, or digestive issues.

After a while you may start feeling like you need to get away!

Well, what if I tell you that you don’t need to wait for your vacation time. You can learn to identify your body response and learn how to regulate yourself. So, you don’t feel drained at the end of the day, desperately waiting for the weekend to come. If you need help to identify your state, technology like by HeartMath helps.

Healthy food, hydration, less alcohol and caffeine, is a good start.

But controlling your mind is a real key here.

Meditation, state of just being, not doing, is the best. You exercise your body to be strong and flexible, it's time you start doing the same for your mind.

If you are not ready for a daily meditation practice, you can start with something more simple, like my combination of mindfulness and breath exercise.

  • Before you get up, first thing in the morning, stay in your bed 3-5 more minutes before starting your day. Doesn't it sound great? In this half asleep and half awake state I want you to lay comfortably on your back, with your eyes still closed. Feel the blanket and sheets against your skin, acknowledge the mattress pressing against your spine (30 seconds).

  • Then take a deep breath in and exhale slowly - repeat three times. Feel your chest rising with each inhale and falling with each exhale.

  • And then imagine a peaceful place. It can be an empty beach with pristine sand and ocean breeze, or wooden cottage in a forest with a bench on a front porch for you to sit, or a pathway lined with boulders to a refreshing waterfall. Notice the colors, smells, and sounds (1-2 minutes).

  • And at last set the intention for the day. Repeat silently to yourself what you want your day to look like. For example, today I will be calm and productive. Repeat it three more times, each time with more authority. Slowly open your eyes and start your day.

This simple breath and mindfulness exercise takes only a few minutes but can have a tremendous effect on your health and the overall quality of your life and your relationships.

Whenever you feel the stress coming on back, you can repeat your morning exercise any time during the day. Just take a few minutes break in a place where you won’t get interrupted. Close your eyes. Start with noticing your feet touching ground, your bottom supported by chair. Relax your jaw and drop your shoulders. Take a deep breath in, and slow exhale out. Again notice your chest rising and falling with each breath - repeat three times. Re-envision your peaceful place with all the colors, smells, and sounds. Repeat silently your mantra.

  • If you feel tense, you can tell yourself: I am calm.

  • If you feel nervous, you can use: I am ready to do this.

  • If you feel angry or hurt, because someone cut you off in traffic, your child misbehaved, or your client used abusive language, you can use: I forgive you and let go of it. It doesn’t mean you forgot or that it was excusable, it’s just that you give yourself permission to let go of that tension, so you can move on.

Ready for some guided meditation now?

Check out my YouTube Channel Healthy Mind By Katerina or book a discovery call with me for a personalized approach to your unique situation.

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