Breathe in to the count of 4; hold your breath to the count of 4, breathe out slowly exhaling through your mouth to the count of 8. The calmness is created in the space between your thoughts or when you are briefly pausing between breathing in and breathing out.
Do 3-4 complete cycles of this breathing exercise and voila! Your have created a minute of calmness.
Creating calmness within myself, I soon realized created calmness in the environment around me. In the early 80’s as a young nurse working in the emergency room and I quickly became aware that chaos could escalate the chaos in the environment. If we were all being calm in the middle of chaos, it became organized chaos. What is the difference you might ask? My observation was calming organized chaos created a more healing environment. Calming chaos usually created a space for the team to work in sync together through the tense moments between life and death.
In 2015 many of us feel our lives are quite chaotic at times. Stress in relation to chaos sometimes escalates out of control and creates a sense of dis-ease. How do we recognize these times of feeling out of control and create minutes of calmness? Try your breath to create space and calmness.
Have you watched a baby while they are sleeping? They breathe from the belly, a methodical up and down rise of their abdomen. Now observe your own body and how you are breathing? We are usually breathing in the upper part of our chest, short breaths. With deep belly breathing we increase the oxygen circulating in our body, nourishing each cell, creating a healing calming environment within.
Creating space between our breaths may help us create a space of calmness in our thoughts, in our physical body, and in the environment around us. I do this short exercise in the car waiting for the light to change, (with eyes open) waiting in line at the store, or waiting for my computer to boot up (on slow internet days). If we reflect on our day there are many mindful minute opportunities to slow our breathing and create calmness in the space between our thoughts.
Sounds simple? I invite you to do a mindful minute 4 times a day for 3 days and then measure your stress level. It is not a magic bullet to end all stress, but it is a magical minute that keeps giving back to you body, mind and spirit.