I can’t believe my employee called in sick again today. She has missed 16 days this year already, and it’s only August!
Seriously, did I just walk by my boss’s office and see him checking email, when I’ve ask him three times to call Mr. Jones back so he will stop calling here yelling at me?
Wow, just wow, I can’t believe I just heard my co-worker say that about me. How can she say that? I’m in tears.
OMG! Did… (insert whatever) …?!
Stop. Just breathe.
Yeah, I know it’s hokey. And what is that going to do to solve my hurt, my pain, my stress and my frustration?
I started a new fitness class that is fundamentally different from any I’ve ever done. It’s a mental and emotional strengthening process as much as it is physical. And I didn’t realize that at first. At the end of our first session, the instructor had us close our eyes and just breathe for a minute, to just honor ourselves for where we were. I was thinking “oh, whatever,” but honestly I was so exhausted from the workout, I didn’t have the capacity to do anything but obey her instruction to stop – and just breathe.
And I was amazed. Sixty seconds of just being still, taking a deep breath and letting go for a moment – literally – brought me a calm and strength.
Did that solve my problems? No. Did it make my frustrations go away? Nope. Did it give me some amazing insight? Didn’t happen. But what it DID do was slow me down and give me the ability to approach all these things with more calm and strength.
So often, we are quick to learn new skills, techniques, insights and such to solve our problems or help us grow. And while that’s great, if we are piling these new things on a harried, frustrated, unclear mind, can they really help us? In fact, all the skills, techniques and insights you’ve already learned are probably more than enough to make a huge difference for you, if you could use them with more intentionality, focus and calm.
So next time you are exhausted, challenged, on edge or completely frazzled – stop, close your eyes and take a deep breath, then let it out. Don’t focus on what you need to do or the problem at hand. Just breathe – for one minute. Try it – I mean you have to breathe anyway, right?
By Molly Hall