Who out there feels as if they have time for everything? Time to take a vacation, have fun, explore your hobbies, lean new skills, read a book, get all of your work done, meditate, exercise, spend time with friends and family, go shopping, cook a five-star meal, go dancing, go to the museum, enjoy a massage, have mind-blowing sex and… the list goes on. This is not reality for many of us (except for the sex, I am confident that most of us are enjoying ourselves). During this Covideon many feel extra stress, anxiety and strain reinforced by: news, finances, health problems and constant uncertainty. So what can we do, to feel better? How do we thrive instead of simply surviving?
PAUSE. Whenever you feel anxiety (or any other negative emotion) simply say… “pause.” Then stay in the present and say: “What a pleasure!” Without worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, feeling yourself in the moment allows you to calm down (even if you have to spend the day with your mother-in-law). Staying in the present, allows us to combat anxiety by taking the time to breathe and choose a proactive action rather than reacting (to a negative state). PAUSE… What a pleasure!
EXPERIENCE. What is our mission here, on earth? Simply to experience life and create ourselves. Take some time to meditate and sharpen your senses. A meditation need not be long. It can even last ten seconds. Go ahead, build in a meditative ten seconds whenever you turn on that car ignition. You can be lying down or walking, with eyes open or closed. It doesen’t matter! Just take a moment to:
-feel the clothes on your skin (or air if you happen to be naked),
-smell the air, sun, leaves, even your wife’s cooking,
-see the world and it’s vivid colors, textures (take the time to observe and fully experience every detail),
-hear the silence (listen to all those sounds that fill that silence),
-taste mindfully (eat and drink as if it’s your last meal and truly experience every bite).
BREATHE. Yes, don’t forget to breathe. Go ahead, fill that belly with air. So what if it expands a little! It doesen’t make you less atractive. What? You think it’s not obvious when you’re sucking your gut in? Come on! Who out there has not seen two men, standing outside the bar and sucking in their guts every time an attractive woman walks by? Yes, breathe to fill every body part with air.
Pausing, experiencing and breathing helps us to stay in the present, be mindful and (little by little) eradicate anxiety from our lives. Stress will always exists but what makes the difference (and our experience of a quality life) is how we choose to react to it. Go ahead, experience life and all that it has to offer with courage!