I have been asked by many people, both friends and potential friends (there are no strangers, as we are all intrinsically connected on some level even people we haven’t met yet in this lifetime are merely potential friends) what they can do to help them relax and stay calm in stressful situations. Let’s face it – unless you live on a beach somewhere, there’s always stressful situations (for me it tends to be my hair going wrong, not being able to take the lid off the peanut butter, my boss being narky for no reason…sigh…) My answer varies but always involves the same technique – breathing!
For a huge percentage of the time, we breathe completely unconsciously, and consequently, don’t use our lungs anywhere near as efficiently as we should. By taking our awareness to our breath and really listening to it, our bodies regain their composure and balance so quickly. The power of the human body and our soul never ceases to amaze me – seriously – take a few minutes and think about how AWESOME we really are! By taking even just ten breathes consciously, your nervous system will calm and your body and mind will relax. Breathe in, feel the air enter first your collar bone, then your lungs, slowly working down to your belly. Take a moment here and feel the prana (yoga term for life-giving essence, CHi etc) working, then slowly exhale from the belly up, take another moment. Notice how your body feels, how your mind feels and how the breath sounds. Doesn’t it feel great?
There are so many different types of pranayama (yogic prana control – or very simply put – breathing exercises) for various different reactions but the simplest is just learning to breathe properly – deeply, fully and consciously with every breath. Learning to do this will without doubt help you stay connected to your source and focused at all times.