I hope you are well and enjoying the cooler fall weather! I certainly am. It’s a wonderful change from the heat of the past summer!
The weather outside us affects us in many ways, but have you considered that each of us also has an internal “climate?” Our internal weather may change even more frequently than the external weather. Many of us with ADHD can have quite a challenge regulating our emotions!
At times, our internal weather can be calm, but most of us have “stormy” moments nearly every day. When we are in the midst of challenging situations, the storms of stress, tension, irritation, resentment, anger, or overexcitement often seem to be our only options. We feel justified in our strong reactions.
We can become so caught up in the turmoil of the moment that it feels like we have lost control of ourselves. Even if we know that other calmer, more positive responses are possible, we find it difficult or impossible to quickly calm our inner storms.
One good thing to do in the midst of such turmoil is to get more oxygen to our brains, i.e., take one deep breath . . . and then another. Taking a deep, conscious breath also provides the opportunity for us to step back mentally from the situation, giving ourselves some distance from it. We might even be able to physically step away.
From that new perspective, we have the opportunity to observe what is going on – much like a reporter or detective — “Just the facts, ma’am!” Stepping back mentally and physically often is possible only after we take a few deep breaths to allow our nervous system to begin to calm.
When we mentally step away from the situation, we are able to observe, without judgment, what is happening. Non-judgmental noticing is a giant step towards regaining calm and balance and, equally important, learning from the experience.
The biggest benefit of this practice comes when we focus as much of our attention as possible solely on the breath, slowing our busy minds so that our wiser selves can be heard. Such conscious breathing may be a technique you want to practice.
In this short video , EckhartTolle describes what he calls “one conscious breath” and the impact that can have, especially if you do it multiple times a day. (Caution: This video is on YouTube, which is notorious for sucking us into additional videos that pop up immediately after whatever we chose to watch. Before or during the Tolle video, try taking one conscious breath in order to strengthen your ability to decisively close YouTube immediately after this video.)
I find there is always more to learn from practicing conscious breathing. It is a constant practice for me. I wish you well in your conscious breathing practice!
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