Here’s a stress reduction opportunity for the run up to Christmas that is simple and discrete. All you need is a shop window and enough time to take three breaths. If you’re rushing about trying to get all that shopping done, it’s very easy to get totally caught up in the task in hand, thinking about what you need to do next, where you need to be, what you’ve forgotten to do, or should do next.
With so much stuff rattling around in our system it’s easy to get carried away, infected with urgency. It can be very relaxing just to slow down for a few moments.
- The first step is actually the hardest: realise that you’re rushing around! If you’re rushing it’s very easy not to notice.
- The second step is find a convenient shop window, stand in front of it, and pretend to look at something particularly interesting.
- The third step is take three natural breaths, noticing the flow of the breath in and out of your system. No need to think, plan or remember things, just notice the breath coming and going three times. Just noticing can be quite calming, it can also be quite difficult, the flywheel of the mind just want’s to keep spinning.
That’s all there is to it, no-one will notice, you’re just looking in a shop window. It only takes a few moments to recollect yourself, and you can do this as many times as you like during the course of the day.
Bonus points: If you like a real challenge and find yourself on an escalator, just be aware of your breathing whilst you’re travelling between floors. It’s a little longer than three breaths, but you get that much more benefit.
If you’ve been here from the beginning you will realise that this is a recycled article from December 2005.