Since nothing stays the same, one of my favorite sayings is, “this too, shall pass”. Telling ourselves that nothing lasts, reminds us that no pain is forever. On the opposite side of the coin, is the thought that knowing good things also will pass, helps us to appreciate them while they last.
Here’s something else to put in your tool bag. I’ve written about different types of conscious breathing in former blogs, because it’s a tool which is easy to learn and quick to show results, plus it reduces stress and pain. It can be used virtually anytime, and anyplace. The more you use it, the more quickly it will calm you down. Another benefit is that it increases our awareness of positive feelings.
Begin by noticing your breath – not trying to control it, just noticing each intake and each exhalation. Gradually let your breathing slow and deepen while you concentrate on the sensations as the breath moves into and through you. Instead of breathing from your chest as many do, change to diaphragmatic breathing. Take a deep breath and watch to see if you’re breathing from your chest or your stomach, and ensure the movement happens below your rib cage.
To teach your child this wonderful way to handle stress, have him lie on the floor and place a book on his stomach. Have him breathe so the book is seen to move up and down. Then let the child experiment with moving first his chest and then the stomach area with the book atop so that he begins to feel the difference.
A fast way to switch from chest-breathing to diaphragmatic breathing is to take a deep breath and then let it out in a hard, fast sigh. Doing this once or twice daily usually accomplishes the switch.