We have been teaching stress management classes for 25-plus years. In that time, people have come back to us after needing to use what they learned in class to help them get through challenging times. Hands down, the number one thing they found the most helpful was learning how to calm their bodies using their Peaceful Pause daily practice.
It is important to set aside the 5-10 minutes it takes every day to turn your awareness inside, do the breathing and empty your mind of wandering thoughts. Once Peaceful Pause becomes a habit, it will be a powerful resource you can use to help yourself during stressful and challenging times. When you become good enough at it, you can take a deep breath and be immediately calmer and more present to the situation before you.
Your Daily Practice
Find a quiet place where you can be by yourself. Allow 5-10 minutes of private time. You may want to dim the lights or use soothing music. Find a comfortable spot to sit or lie comfortably.
CHECK-IN: Turn your awareness inside. Notice the sensations in your body – don’t judge or try to change anything. Are there areas of tightness . . . or relaxation? Are there areas of comfort . . . or discomfort? How is your energy level – high . . . low . . so-so? What is your mood right now? When you inhale and exhale, is your chest or abdomen moving more?
Place your hands on your abdomen. Breathe slowly and gently into your abdomen, allowing your breath to come fully. Don’t force your breathing. Wait for the need to inhale . . wait for the need to exhale. Just inhale and exhale slowly, gently.
If thoughts of pressing matters come to you in this quiet time, let your mind know that you will attend to them shortly – but for now, this is your time to regenerate.
After 5-10 minutes, CHECK-IN again as above (i.e. Notice the sensations in your body: Are there areas of tightness . . . or relaxation? Are there areas of comfort . . . or discomfort? How is your energy level – high . . . low . . or so-so? What is your mood? When you inhale and exhale, is your chest or abdomen moving more? Notice any differences you feel now compared to when you began your Peaceful Pause.
Close the session by taking a deep breath, wiggling your fingers and toes and stretching. Bring your awareness back to the present. Smile and savor your newfound relaxation.
It is best to choose the same time and place every day. Once this type of breathing becomes a habit, you can take a deep breath in the middle of hectic times to help ease your reactions to stress and chaos.
For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call the Massage Therapy & Wellness Center at 219-879-5722.