Updated: Feb 13
Imagine having moments of calm to look forward to all day long. Not a vacation day or even a weekend where you try to get over whatever happened during the week - everyday.
How do you think it would change your life if you knew how to find ways to reduce stress right after it happened? Would you make different decisions if you weren’t making them out of stress or anxiety? Would you enjoy your family or your life more if you weren’t always so stressed out? If you had the energy to do things when you got home from work would your life be different?
I think we know the answer is Yes.
Hopefully you have spent at least a couple of days paying more attention to how you breathe. If you haven’t read the posts from earlier in this series you can start here (start from the beginning) Understanding how you can control your breathing and learning how to use it to activate the rest and digest mode of your nervous system is an important first step.
Everyone has moments of stress daily, multiple times a day. Most of the time it is just everyday things that don’t seem like a big deal (like losing your keys) but really work at helping you accumulate stress. So just like daily stress you need ways to counteract the affect of that stress everyday. In order to do that you really need to find ways to incorporate that care into things you already do.
It is difficult to create and follow new habits.
What if I told you that you don’t need to create new habits but take something you do everyday and re-create it into a moment of joy?
There are so many things that we do everyday without thinking about it.
We wake up everyday (hopefully).
We brush our teeth.
Go to bed at night.
These are the things that we do without even thinking about them. Oftentimes we do them without even focusing on what we are actually doing. So why not use that time to focus on letting go of stress?
Why not use those habits that we know we already do all the time and change the intention and what we think of while we do them?
Do you brush your teeth?
Let’s think of something most people do in the morning, like brushing your teeth. Do you remember brushing your teeth this morning? I’m sure you did but do you actually remember it? Most times we aren't thinking about actually brushing our teeth when we do it. We are thinking about something that has been bothering us, going over what needs to be done that day or not much because of how tired you are.
Brushing teeth is the perfect thing to repurpose. We do it habitually and usually without thought.
So what if when you brushed your teeth you took it as a short couple of minutes to set yourself up for a great day?
Here’s what you can do...
While putting the toothpaste on your brush notice it’s color.
Notice the way your mouth reacts to the promise of the taste of it.
Take a look at yourself and smile.
Turn on the water and notice the sound of it.
While you brush your teeth imagine that you are brushing away all of the residue from yesterday.
You're cleaning away all the emotions and memories that are left behind and imagine that you are starting the day fresh.
Become aware of how the bristles feel against your teeth and gums.
Breathe in the smell of the toothpaste.
When you're done and have rinsed your mouth out well, Look at yourself in the mirror again and give yourself another smile or words of encouragement.
That’s two minutes of your life you can decide to use to help set yourself up for a good day and start it off with a bit of calm.
Find your thing.
Find something that you do all the time that you can transform into a moment of calm. Once you identify that one thing ask yourself how can you use that time as a moment to relax?
Take the next week to see how many things you do every single day without fail. It can be as simple as walking up and down the stairs at a certain time or sitting down at your desk. It could be washing the dishes or getting ready for bed at night.
If you would like example you can download a free PDF here.