Use the power of your breath to ease anxiety

When there’s an anxiety-producing event looming – an important presentation, dental surgery, a first date – you can start to calm your nerves the day before with this exercise. Close your eyes and gently bring your lips together. Inhale through your nose. As you exhale (also through your nose), make a humming sound: “Mmmmmm.” Let this hum last as long as it is comfortable. Then inhale and repeat. Don’t try to control it too much. Just breathe in and hum out. If you try to extend the hum longer than is natural, you might tighten up. Play with the tone until you find the place where your “mmmmmm” flows out in a comfortable, lowish pitch, audible but quiet enough that no one except, say, the person right next to you on the bus would hear it. The humming breath has a way of loosening your jaw, mouth, lips, and tongue – areas that tend to tense up when you’re nervous. Once you’ve found your hum, repeat it whenever you start to feel anxious – whether you’re standing, sitting, or walking. Let it be easy and fun. Over the course of the day, the soothing effect will build, helping you become more and more relaxed for the big event.

Exercise by Cyndi Lee, founder of OM Yoga. Taken from Real Simple Magazine, September 2015

Meditation for challenging times

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Disappointment is a normal part of every person’s life…including mine. When I am facing a problem I can take care of myself by remembering that I am not being punished. Even good people have bad times sometimes. I take a deep breath and remind myself that I am equal to the challenge.

I have the wisdom, the energy  and the strength to get through this. I know that I will be okay even though I may not know yet exactly how this situation will be resolved. I trust myself to look for and find each next best step.

I have within me the drive and determination to change what I can, and the courage to accept what I can’t. I stay focused on where I am going, reminding myself often that life is always changing. Where I am right now is not permanent.

Even though things are not as I want them to be, I am okay. I will not give up on myself, my life or my goals. All is well. And so it is. Have a good day.