My 60 Second Stress Buster


In need of a 60 Second Stress Buster during the holiday season? Look  no further.No matter how dedicated to being a Zen master you are, stressful situations will always arise. The kids will may get a little crazy, something in the oven may burn, the dog may get know the drill. BUT, living a stress-free life isn't about trying to create a life where stressful incidents don't exist (that's completely impossible!), it's about how we respond to these situations. It is our response to these events which marks them as stressful...or not.It is your responsibility to chose your response and use tools to gracefully guide you through the situation. Basically it's up to you to build your stress busting tool box. Today, I am giving you one of my favorite tools to add to your stress-response toolbox (so next time Aunt Sally brings up the political situation at the dinner table, you know what to do.)SO next time you find yourself in a stressful situation remember; HOW you choose to respond can either create or negate stress.My 60 second stress buster:Begin by exhaling all of the air out of your body by contracting your abs and pushing them to the back of your abdomen. You are emptying out your vessel.On your inhale, you are going to expand your belly allowing it to fill up with air.On your next exhale, you are going to once again contract and make your belly tighter.Inhale for 5, exhale for 7. Do this for a full minute.What you are doing is called belly breathing. Belly Breathing triggers your vagus nerve which tells your body to relax (the opposite of that fight or flight state that creates stress in our body).Have you ever watched a baby breathe. Their sweet little bellies get bigger on the inhale and contract on the exhale. We are born knowing how to belly breathe, but somewhere along the way we lose that and breathe from our chest leading to shallow breathing. By taking longer, slower, deeper breaths we physiologically create  a more relaxed response in our body.By simply paying attention to your breathe and breathing purposefully we can negate that stressful feelings that usually arise in chaotic or unfavorable situations. Pretty amazing we were born with this ability, right?!For more mediations and centering exercises to help you through the holiday season try these:Cultivating Self CompassionProcessing Negative EmotionsStop Restless Thoughts