Stress and Breathing (Joseph Mizelle)

Ah, stress… the unavoidable toll of having the gift of life!

While stress is indeed a fact of life and impossible to remove from our experience, the choice of HOW we choose to deal with stress is most definitely within our power. Personally, I find that stress can be a fuel for positive growth if we choose to accept our challenges in life as a call for us to grow, change, and respond appropriately to. Having the proper tools at our disposal makes all the difference when dealing with stress.

I am continually amazed at the power the breath has in transforming a stressful experience into a joyful one. In fact – for me at least – one of the surefire signs of stress is shallow, cramped breathing. Taking just a few minutes to consciously breathe deeply can make a world of difference in how stressful a given situation feels. By breathing deeply, we send a signal to ourselves to flow and move with our present experience, and not to resist it. And if trying to resist the flow of life isn’t stressful, then I don’t know what is!

I also find that various forms of meditation and vigorous exercise are all excellent antidotes to stress. Find a practice that you love and use it often. And remember to keep breathing!