Now, before you roll your eyes, let’s look at why this is important.
Taking a deep breath does a couple of very vital things for you.
- It stimulates your vagus nerve by expanding your diaphragm. The vagus nerve is that long, winding nerve that starts in your brain and winds down among just about every organ in your body. When it gets triggered, it prompts your parasympathetic nervous system to kick in, calming your body.
It’s pretty hard to feel anxious and upset when your body is calm.
- Your deep breath can serve as a reminder for you to slow down and return to the present moment rather than fretting about the past or worrying about the future.
I giggle a bit at us self-help providers because we sometimes advise people to see the forest of their problem rather than the individual trees.
But occasionally all that’s really needed to get you back on your path is to knock a few of those trees down!
Now that you’ve taken a deep breath (see #1,) take a step back from the situation and do some quick problem-solving: What is the real problem? Is there any action you can take now that will help? What have you done in the past that has worked for you?
If there is something you can do, then do it!
If not, see #3.
As much as I teased about people like me giving this exact advice, it really is helpful if there is no action that can be taken.
Again, engage in #1.
Realize that you’ve been in other situations throughout your life where you’ve felt stressed and like you really need to bounce back right now AND you’ve made it through those times. They weren’t pleasant, but they do pass.
Someone sent me the link to this cool little article on abcnews.com: 14 Bad Habits That Drain Your Energy.
Did you know that being dehydrated or not having enough fuel in your body can suck your energy?
And what happens when you don’t have energy?
Problems appear much bigger than they truly are.
And/or you don’t have the energy to manage them.
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Last reviewed: 9 Jun 2014