Change can be scary. Change can also be invigorating and wonderful. It is about being open to possibilities. Change means letting go of worries about what might happen and embracing what can happen.
This is the first post of many more that I hope will serve to peak your curiosity about possibilities. Possibilities for what is to come and not looking back at what has been. More importantly, it is about being in the here and the now.
Learning to be in the here and now is a powerful way to affect change. It changes our thoughts, our attitude, and can bring pleasure even in challenging times.
Mindfulness is a tool that can help reduce stress and regulate breathing. Many people who struggle with anxiety will hold their breath without even realizing they are holding their breath. There are many different tools to practice mindfulness. Some forms might include meditation, yoga, quiet walks, or listening to quiet and calming music.
One of my favorite tools was taught to me during my early career as a residential treatment facility therapist. It is called “Boxed Breathing” Over years, clients have adapted this concept to their own personal styles, demonstrating to me the importance of listening to clients’ preferences and style as they gave me the privilege of sharing difficult times.
Imagine in your mind that you are drawing a square in the air.
- Breathe in for 4 counts
- Hold for 4 counts
- Breathe out for 4 counts
- Hold for 4 counts
- Breathe in for 4 count
- Hold for 4 counts …. I think you get the picture?
Helpful hints/Alternative methods: Personalize number of counts to your comfort level. Get creative and trace a building if you are in a city, or find a landmark to imagine you are tracing a square around. This is handy to teach younger children and a skill that will last a lifetime.
In my future posts, I plan to slowly offer simple tools that can be used by anyone. It might be simple tools such as above to help with anxiety or to help manage negative or depressive thoughts. It might be humor to help shift your thinking. My posts might simply be thought-provoking, to create the possibility of learning a new perspective and moving out of stuck or concrete thinking. I look forward to sharing my time with you in this adventure.