Even though this is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” for many it is also the most stressful time of the year.
There is a lot that adds to the stress. Things like exams and papers, closing out work for the year, shopping for the right gift, and dealing with extra traffic all add up. On top of all this it’s cold and it feels like there’s no sunlight!
Unfortunately as these aspects of life pile up they can cause you to react uncharacteristically when someone cuts you off on your way home.
One of my favorite ways to stop myself in my tracks, calm down, and refocus is simply to hold my breath. Don’t hold it long enough to cause any discomfort, but long enough for your body, mind, and spirit to realize you are no longer breathing. It needs to be a conscious and deliberate breath hold.
You hear all the time that you should pay attention to your breathing to make you present in the moment, but that can be hard to do. Adding in a slight hold like this will force you to pay attention to your breathing.
From here you will be in a better, more pliable, mindset to control your breathing in a specific pattern. After the hold simply begin breathing in and out for the same amount of time. Make the time for each a little longer than they would normally take. A good place to start would be 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out. Try this out and let me know what you think!