‘Tis the season…
While it may be that time of year when we are supposed to be jolly, the stress of the holidays can cause some people to feel a little grumpy and overwhelmed. Micro breathing breaks are a great tool you can incorporate into your routine to help you manage the stress of the holidays. The first step is to find a trigger that will cue you it’s time to breathe. A trigger is something you do frequently throughout the day (e.g. washing your hands, coming to a red light). Our brains work well by associating activities. Your trigger will be your signal it’s time to take a micro breathing break so it becomes automatic. The next step is to take a slow, deep inhale through your nose and a slow, deep exhale through your nose. Repeat 3-5 times and notice how good you feel.
Taking micro breathing breaks several times throughout the day will help keep you in a more calm, relaxed state so you are more easily able to handle stressful situations. Obviously, it’s helpful to do breathe slowly when you are stressed. The intent of the short duration, frequent breathing breaks is to be more proactive. Instead of responding to feeling overwhelmed and stressed, the breathing breaks will make it less likely for you to feel stressed and overwhelmed when things inevitably get a little crazy this holiday season. Breathe on!
Dr. Terry Gebhardt is a physical therapist and hypnotist at Colorado In Motion