When the discussion turns to stress, one person will talk about meditation. When that happens, one of two thoughts enter the listeners’ minds; they either think, “I keep hearing that can be helpful, but haven’t really tried it,” or “That’s something monks in robes do when they sit on top of mountains for days at a time.”
As with many things meditation can have a positive impact on your stress level and every other aspect of your daily life. However, it’s never going to help you at all if you either, a) don’t try it for a long enough period of time to make a difference for yourself or b) think it’s something only monks in robes do when they sit on top of mountains for days at a time.
My meditation practice has made a significant impact on my life. I have been practicing it for over a year. This is driving with full tanks.
Let me explain.
Breath = fuel.
When we talk about meditation, what we’re really talking about is focusing on the breath. The best way to silence your mind is to learn to concentrate on your breathing.).
The oxygen in your body is the same as gasoline to a vehicle. It is essential for everything to run. Your fuel management (breath) will affect how smoothly your vehicle drives and the distance it goes. If you fill your tank with one dollar worth of gasoline and start driving, it can quickly become exhausting. But if you fill your tank and just drive, you don’t have to worry or constantly be focusing on running out of fuel and getting stuck, and you certainly don’t have to keep stopping to refuel.
Like these driving experiences, you can have your breath fast and slow or relaxed and full. Meditation teaches you to breathe with full capacity.
It’s odd to think about how so many people are breathing wrong; that they pay no attention to their greatest fuel source — the one that can give them exactly what most of them are looking for…calm.
“Breath is the link between mind and body.” – Dan Brule
Exhale is the key to unlocking your inner secret.
You have to tell someone you care about how they are feeling. You say, “Take a deep breath.” Why? Because, if they are stressed, they are most likely breathing high and shallow in their chest; that’s fight or flight breathing. Hence the word “deep” to get them to breathe in a way that begins to calm them by lowering the breathing into their bellies. This helps them to refocus their attention on their breath and not their thoughts.
That’s important because most people spend all of their waking hours focusing on their thoughts…and those are usually the very things that are stressing them out! However, your brain can only concentrate on one thing at once. So, if you are focusing on thoughts, you aren’t taking deep breaths (filling your tank) and if you are focused on your breath, you aren’t in your head focusing on your thoughts (which are usually causing much of that stress).
Here’s the secret…start with the exhale, not with an inhale. Take a deep inhale and try this now. Your shoulders should have risen and your chest may be expanding. If this is the case, your breathing style promotes anxiety and stress. To learn how to lower your breathing (to get oxygen to the bottom of your lungs) take another deep breath. This time, exhale.
Here’s how: exhale all of your breath until there is no more to push out, and just let the breath come back in naturally.
You probably noticed the breath coming into your body “lower” than before. Congratulations! You just took a “deep” breath. This is calm breathing. This is breathing that promotes calm. If done for several times, it sends a signal to the brain that all things are okay. It will not cause you to fight or fly.
Simply by taking just a few of these steps, you can get the result. Tief You can take a few deep breaths when you are feeling stressed. This will allow you to instantly lower stress levels. Because you’re filling up your tank, you feel in control. It’s a little thing that makes a big difference!
Meditation is a way to learn how to drive with an empty tank. You will find it easy to keep it as a daily habit. A full tank of gas will enable you to go on even when others have to stop to replenish. It will also train your body to control the environment, no matter what the topic is or who it is said to.
Calm is a superpower and if you haven’t put this tool in your toolbox, you are missing opportunities every day to be less stressed and more in control of you.
The Secret to Driving Through Your Life with a Full Tank originally appeared on Addicted 2 Success.