Holiday Tip #4: Breathe and Notice

Tip #4 on emotionally surviving this Holiday Season is breathe and notice.

Notice now your breathing. Is it shallow? Do you take short breaths? Do you sigh frequently? Are your breaths deep, from the diaphragm?

This is a simple but powerful exercise to lower your number on the tension scale. You might want to know that research finds this to be a key in stress reduction.

Just notice. That’s right. Just notice what you think and feel. (A primary purpose of the 1-10 scale is to get you just to notice.) Much of psychology focuses on our capacity to stand back and notice what we feel and think. It’s called an observing ego. It’s healthy.

When you do not notice, you tend to be “in” the pain. You are the pain. You are the fear. It becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to alleviate the pain and fear.

If you want to take this to another level, be aware of your inner dialogue – one part “talking” to another. The usual scenario: one part of you is angry with another part of you for what that part thinks is foolish, weak or helpless. Round and round you go. It takes much energy to fight your self. Use that energy to address the issues before you.

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