In the midst of the COVID-19 Lockdown, one thing I cling to is that there IS another side. There IS a time that this will go away and our lives can get back to "normal".
I believe that, for the individual, this is both a test and an incubation period. It's a test in that we are all going through this adversity (some more adversity than others) and we're learning a lot about ourselves.
It's also an incubation period because, as we are spending a lot of time inside and away from crowds, our thoughts have a way of becoming more refined, more crystallized and more clear.
The human mind is a powerful thing. The brain is just about as complex as the entire internet.....yet we can only think or reason about one thing at a time.
Some people's guided-missile-instinct is to see the bad and work to correct the bad. Some people think in terms of life being a blank slate, so let's get out there and create good. And you know what? Neither is right or wrong!
So while we're all in this season of "adaptation", whether we think in terms of stress prevention OR peace creation, I'd like to share with you one thing that's been helpful for me which will hopefully also help move you a couple notches to the right (referencing the image above).
It has to do with controlling our breathing. You're probably aware that taking a deep breath has a calming effect. You might even know that breathing from your belly is healthy and that breathing through your nose is better than your mouth because it moistens and filters the air.
What you may not know is that many of us breathe too shallowly and too frequently. I've recently learned that if the exhale is just a little longer than our inhale, with a one second pause in between, it actually helps the oxygen separate from the hemoglobin much better. This makes you calmer and have more energy.
Making a small change in your breathing rate AND breathing through your nose and using your belly helps activate your diaphragm muscle under your stomach which in turns stimulates your solar plexus which feeds back to the brain as if a field general is reporting back to the commander (your brain) "it's okay, it's peace time, go ahead and relax." It has to do with the fact that most of those nerves are incoming to the brain instead of outgoing from the brain.
Click the button below to be taken to a video that will help to pace your breathing rate. The first ten minutes is for 5' tall people, the second for 5'6" tall people and the third part is for the 6' tall people. I hope this resourceful, easy and fast tactic helps you move a couple notches to the right and enhances your incubation period. That way you can come out swinging in the 'next round' after this shelter-in-place is lifted!