For most people the holidays are a time to take a break from the hustle of every day life and a time to spend with family and friends. It is a time that people observe special religious festivities and a time of gift giving and merriment. A great many of us will make new year’s resolutions to either give up something that is detrimental to our health or add something to our regimen. Like something that will help cope with things like depression and anxiety and bring us closer to health and happiness.
But now it’s January. You’ve just realized you have overeaten, overdrank, overspent, and indulged in a great many behaviours that you normally wouldn’t have if it was any other time of the year.
When it comes to spending habits in Canada, one in three Canadians said they ended up spending more than they meant to last year. (1) It’s easy to fall into despair, disarray as well as frustration and fear as a result of our actions during the holidays.
According to motivational speaker Tony Robins, “Gratitude is the solution to anger and fear.” (2) In other words, you one cannot hold feelings of anger/fear and gratitude simultaneously. This is good news if we are searching for methods to cope with the aftermath of the holidays when all festivities have concluded, all the gifts are opened, and perhaps some anxiety about our credit card bills start to arrive making us ever so reluctant to pay a visit to our post office box.
For more on Tony Robbins, click here for THE 5-STEP PLAN TO AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR.
How To Manage Your Emotions
Here are some tips you can use to manage your emotions and transform your state of being into a healthy and positive state. This exercise is the HeartMath Institute’s Heart-Focused Breathing® Technique and I would like to share it with the reader as it is entirely possible to calm both our nervous system and our overactive mind. In other words, attempt to turn down the frantic fight or flight sympathetic nervous system and turn up the parasympathetic system.
Over activity of the sympathetic nervous system will cause our breathing and heart rate to increase as well as release stress hormones like cortisol into our bloodstream to help prepare us for a fight or flight scenario. This is innately programmed into our nervous system as a protective mechanism. By calming the sympathetics and shifting to the parasympathetics, which control our resting, relaxation and digestive responses, we can put ourselves in a state of ease. The good news is that we can do it relatively easily with this simple exercise. Click here to read about A Scientific Validation Of Your Emotions.
Step by Step Instructions:
Start with sitting in a quiet place, in an upright posture and begin breathing through your nose and exhale out through your mouth.
Focus your attention on your heart area, and breathe a little deeper than normal, in for 5 or 6 seconds and out 5 or 6 seconds.
Imagine breathing through your heart. Picture yourself slowly breathing in and out through your heart area.
Remember that you are not breathing from upper chest region that uses more accessory muscles and body part and is usually the pattern of breathing of someone suffering form anxiety or anxious state but rather from the heart. There is a difference. If this is difficult to visualize try diaphragmatic breathing where your belly expands as you draw oxygen in. It’s ok if it looks funny and makes the belly look larger than usual. Nobody is watching remember you’re alone? Hehe.
Activate a positive feeling as you maintain your heart focus and breathing. Recall a time you felt good inside and try to re-experience the feeling. Remember a special place or the love you feel for a close friend, relative or treasured pet. The key is focus on something you really appreciate.
Conversely, you can attempt a more meditative method and practice NOT thinking about anything other than your breath. I’ve found both methods effective. The key is to make sure your exhale is slightly longer than your inhale.
Practice this for at least 5 minutes and observe your mood change in short matter of time. Click here for 4 Tips to an Abundant, Joy Filled Life
Yes folks, it is literally that easy. You are in complete control of your mood and emotions. The mind is a powerful entity and each of us has the capacity to alter our state of well-being should we choose to. Harness the feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Appreciate yourself and others. Be grateful that you are alive. My wish for you is that this exercise will help you reduce emotional stress and improve your health. Blessings to you all.
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