In our exciting times we have more new opportunities and choices then ever before. We also live in a culture that also offers more compelling demands on our time then ever before.
For many of us there’s just no time to rest, the pace of life is too fast and as a result there is a physical, emotional and even spiritual deficit in our life. Studies in the workplace show that stress, burnout, health issues and conflict between people is at an all time high.
Not giving ourselves time off to rest, exercise, meditate or take a break also never gives us a chance to reflect or observe what we are doing, objectively. What that causes for many of us is a tendency to fall in a rut, burn out and lose passion for our work and life. Just like machines, sometimes we need to pause and reboot.
Here are 7 steps for you to use at home or at the office.
Step One: COMMIT-Commit to place your attention on connecting your brain and body for the next 5 minutes and feel what it is feeling.
Step Two: BREATHE-Take three slow deep full breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax and fill your belly on each inhalation, then release the breath and belly, as you exhale.
Step Three: SCAN-Notice what is happening in your body. Are you squinting or straining in any way? Are your shoulders and neck crunched? Observe for 60 seconds and discover sensations, posture, tension etc.
Step Four: DECLARE-State to yourself what you notice. For instance, "I am noticing that my breath is shallow and my fists are closed." Or, "I am noticing how relaxed my belly and chest feel."
Step Five: ACT-Now, take an action that benefits you right now. For instance, if you notice that your shoulders are raised, relax them and let them drop. If you are hunched over your computer, sit back and lift your head up.
Step Six: VISUALIZE -Breathe comfortably, in and out like a calm ocean. See a simple wave- form as you breathe in and out.
Step Seven: CENTER- Sit comfortably with your legs uncrossed, hands, arms and shoulders at ease, belly relaxed and eyes open. Take one more conscious breath in and out, focus on an intention and go actualize it!
If you would like to be guided and practice this exercise, here is an audio version, plus the 7 steps PDF to print out, and a medical study as well.
Enjoy stopping your stress on demand.