Last night I was feeling all the feels: my cousin is on a ventilator with COVID, a dear friend is having surgery to remove cancer, someone hit our truck and damaged the bumper, project deadlines looms... My brain just wouldn't stop vacillating between concern, fear, anger, anxiety. I kept thinking, "I've got to stop this. My heart is racing; my neck is tense; my stomach is in knots. This is sooo not healthy."
And then it hit me. I have tools! Yep, just this week @wishbeads.official on Instagram live had suggested making a list of ways to center yourself when you get into these crazy, self-defeating thoughts. And being the good student, I created a visual of four ways that typically help calm and center me. I printed it and placed in my desk so I see it all day.
Now it took a long time for me to remember that I had this reminder. I wasted so much time and energy on thoughts that would never help me or my dear ones. But once I remembered, I looked at my options and chose breathing. This particular technique is easy. I placed a finger on one side of my nose to hold it closed and counted to four as I breathed in deeply, then held it for seven seconds and moving my finger to the other nostril let out that breath from the opposite nostril while I counted to eight. I did that 5 times on each nostril. Because I was just concentrating on breathing, I forgot about everything else. When I finished, I was back. Magic!
Then I was able to send some prayers that were filled with love to my cousin and friend. I felt so much peace and calm. Within seconds I was fast asleep until morning. Even today, I woke feeling serenity and hopefulness for what comes.
We all have tools to calm and center ourselves. What's yours?