So often we forget to take a minute to step outside of our crazy lives to just take in the moment.
We forget to notice the little things like the way a leaf on a plant quivers in the gentle breeze, observing the morning dew glistening on the grass and flowers outside, or watching the cat as she calmly naps in the sun beaming through the patio door.
While you’re sipping your coffee or tea in the morning before rushing out of the house to your busy job or to take care of your kids, take a moment to notice these little things.
In that moment, I invite you to take in a big, slow, deep breath of fresh air and breathe it out slowly. Maybe even close your eyes. You’ll find it can give you an incredible feeling of peace and comfort.
We are all surrounded by stress every single day. Stress of life, stress of work, stress of taking care of our families and ourselves, financial stress. Whatever it may be, it can often impact us in a negative way without us even realizing it.
Many of us hold our stress in our bodies and it can manifest physically in different ways. For instance, that chronic, nagging neck or upper back pain that never seems to go away, the random abdominal cramping that comes and goes throughout the day, acid reflux, the constant tossing and turning at night and waking up never feeling rested.
Not only does it not make us feel good, but chronic stress can bring on chronic illness and reduce endorphins, our “feel good” hormones. Certain chronic diseases are known as low endorphin states such as fibromyalgia.
Endorphins are important because not only do they give us greater feelings of wellbeing, but they decrease pain, improve our tolerance of stress, and improve our immune function. In order to generate endorphins, we need to support our hypothalamus which is a key part of our brain that regulates hormone function.
So how do we do that?
Activities such as exercise, putting our minds and bodies in a calm state, practicing mindful exercises like yoga or tai chi, meditation, acupuncture, having a positive attitude, and positive interactions and relationships with our friends and family along with a number of other things can all positively influence the hypothalamus and therefore improve our production of endorphins.
So even on a busy day, when it seems like the world is crashing down on you, when the work is relentless and beating down on your head, get outside for even a few minutes and take in a few deep breaths, SLOWLY, with your eyes closed, thinking positive thoughts.
Maybe allow your mind to be carried away for a few moments to your favorite place – whether it’s the beautiful white sandy beach you went to last summer with your family, or that stunning hike you took last fall in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, or just lying in the hammock in your backyard. Wherever it may be, give yourself those couple precious moments every day because you owe it to yourself to be calm and happy as much as possible throughout your day.
Not only will you feel good, but you’ll have more energy and spirit to help others at home or at your job because you have fostered this state of wellbeing for yourself.
Remember, there will always be chaos, there will always be unwelcome disruptions, but give yourself those moments. You’ll be amazed at how much more centered and calm you will feel, and you’ll be ready to tackle anything and everything!