I am sitting writing this on a plane, and 5 minutes prior to my flight I seem to have accidently deleted my entire email history, calendar appointments, and who knows what else that I haven't realized yet, in an attempt to speed up my Mac.
Sheer panic flooded my body.... the fight or flight syndrome kicking in, however I am not being attacked by a tiger here! Yet in our 21st century world you would think that a pack of them were suddenly launching themselves upon me..... Breathe
Did I back up recently?.... No.... Breathe.....
Are there important and sentimental things that I know I will probably never recover? .....Yes..... Breathe.....
In this fast paced world our bodies are being put under stress in ways they were never built to deal with, contributing to the increase of many illnesses, including the rise in autoimmune diseases, cancers, and mental health issues.
Practicing mindfulness has now been proven through hundreds of scientific studies to reduce stress, and change the neural pathways in our brain. It can help keep us calm, give us clarity, help us to feel more connected, and even boost our immunity
So what is mindfulness? In basic terms it is about staying in the present, not jumping ahead into the future, or focusing on what has gone on in the past. It's learning to be with ourselves and our emotions, no matter what they are; recognizing them, allowing them, and nurturing those feelings.
Am I safe right now in this moment?.... Yes I am.
Is the world going to end because I no longer have these emails? .... No it's not.
For the last 2 months since I have been home from Denmark I have been blessed with going to Happy Melon, a mindfulness based Pilates and Yoga studio. Although I have been practicing meditation for a number of years, the mindfulness they practice in every class, as well as regularly attending their meditation sessions that are guided with thoughtfulness and discussion, I can feel in this moment that I have taken things to a new level.
I was able to breathe deeply, focus, and get my equilibrium back remarkably quickly. I know for a fact in times past I would be sitting here on the plane in a complete state of distress, however I keep hearing the kind words of my teachers in my ears, and know that the constant daily practices that I have been focusing on have built over time to a larger effect.
It was kind of ironic that this morning I made a short post on my Live.Love.Thrive Facebook page about taking slow breaths to calm our autonomic nervous system (the visceral or involuntary nervous system that operates largely below the level of consciousness). I certainly had to take my own advice.
Breathing is one of the best things we can do in a panicked moment to relax our bodies and bring us back to the present.
When we slowly breath in and out, our belly expands, and when we exhale and our belly shrinks, we are moving the diaphragm to communicate to every cell in our body that we are safe. If we were truly in danger we wouldn't be able to think this through and breathe in that way.
Any time you are feeling stressed, or not connected to your body, take a moment to come back to the breath. Just 3 deep breaths into the belly can have a lasting effect. Do your best to come into the present moment and what is going on around you right now, not thinking about the future or past. Know that you are okay.
I love this quote by Mark Twain
"I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened".
So in doing my best to look at the positive right now, in general I am a hoarder (even on my computer) so maybe it is a blessing in disguise getting rid of all that clunking history!!
And is my Mac working quicker?.... Yes it is!