A Positive Habit for Mental health and Wellbeing
How many times have you heard or said ‘is this the calm before the storm’? In my experience, we need these ‘calm before the storm’ moments, so we can actually weather the storms or stresses that come our way each day. Simply put, the time we take to be calm each day will determine how we cope with the storms that come our way. We may not always manage all the storms but we will definitely manage a hole lot better, both physically and mentally with built in moments of calm.
‘Take Five’ is literally about taking five minutes three or four times a day, to just be and breathe. That is attainable, right? It could be first thing in the morning when you wake, before or after meals or while watching television. Perhaps you take the bus or train to work – another great time to Take Five. I have a client who will visit a little Park beside where she works to breathe and connect with nature. You may be someone who spends a lot of time on the road through business sales, etc, what better skill to have so you can recharge your peace or calm battery.
We can make life easy or hard for ourselves by the choices we make, I know, I do it all the time. But trust me, one of the easiest ways to make life that bit (or a whole lot) more manageable is to commit to ‘Take Five’ at least three times a day.
TAKE FIVE – Directions
Step 1: Tuning Into Your Power Centre
The first thing I do is place both my hands over the area between the end of the ribcage and the belly button which I call my Power Centre. We have organs like the pancreas, liver, gall bladder, stomach, spleen, kidneys, adrenals, as well as part of the small and large intestine residing in this small part of our body. Apart from all the physical jobs these organs do they also work at a meta-physical level helping regulate emotions like anger, anxiety, fear, resentment, grief, stress etc. So by placing our hands here, we are connecting in and giving this busy power house a little break.
Step 2: The Breathing
I tend to favour breathing through the nose when possible. So if you can, close your mouth and breathe through your nose. You don’t have to change your breathing, just be aware that you are breathing.
For those who might want a focused way to breathe let me share a form of breathing that I use. It follows HA breathing – a Hawaiian technique I picked up from Dr Hew Len. In this way you breathe in & hold breath, breath out & hold the breath and all for the same count.
Normally I do it for the count of seven, nine or ten. But you might want to begin with a count of five.
Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold the breath in for 5 seconds, breathe out for 5 seconds and again hold the breath out for 5 seconds. Continue doing this form of breathing for five minutes.
Step 3: Mental Focus
Being a Kinesiologist and Law of Attraction Advanced Practitioner I truly believe that I can tune my energy for health and wellness by the thoughts I think. So, with each breath I tend to say a word or words, like ‘peace’, or ‘I truly am at peace’. I also may use statements like ‘I truly am calm’, or ‘I truly am grateful’. Trust that as you breathe you will get the right 100% positive statement for you.
Timing is Everything!
You might want to set a timer on your phone or clock, so you keep to the five minutes. This allows you to be free to breathe for the time you set, rather than be constantly focusing on the time.
When I get really comfortable with this ‘take-five’ exercise I may increase it to seven or ten minutes, maybe even more time! I lock in my ‘take-five’ times every day so to guarantee I take them.
Benefits of Taking Five
By placing my hands on my power centre area, I automatically tend to breathe into that space, which makes my breathing a little bit slower and deeper, bringing more oxygen into my body and the positive energy of what I am thinking or feeling into all the organs under my hands. I also find I am more able to mange physical, mental and emotional stressors that come my way.
Why have a daily practice like ‘take-five?
No two days are the same. Life changes all the time, sometimes we take that change in our stride and some times we don’t. Every day we encounter new challenges and new opportunities. Every day we get to begin again. Tools like ‘take-five’, ‘Ha’ breathing and ‘power centre’ breathing can enable us to face the ever changing energies of each day from a calm and grounded place in our selves.
Time to Make the Change
Begin with one ‘Take Five’. Put one five minute slot into your calendar for tomorrow, rather then leave it to chance and stick to it! Find a time and a place that is most convenient for you and enjoy the benefits that Take Five can bring.