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Your body is always in the moment, sending you signals of your inner state.

Your mind is usually in the past, ruminating over something that happened, or projecting into the future, creating fear, anxiety, or stress over something that hasn’t happened yet.

It’s your body that can bring your mind back to a state of calm and clarity.

Notice How Your Body Reacts

When I am stressed, my shoulders usually tense and my gut clenches. My breathing is shallow and I can feel the energy in my body turning to fight or flight mode. That’s when I know it’s time to use a mindfulness technique.

Box Breathing is a simple tool that returns you to peace and calm. It requires two things: your imagination and your breath.

1.  Imagine you are tracing the outline of a box in your mind. As you breathe in slowly to the count of four, trace the left side of the box, moving up.

2.  Hold your breath to the count of four as you trace the top of the box from left to right.

3.  Exhale slowly to the count of four as you trace the right side of the box, from top to bottom.

4.  Hold your breath to the count of four as you trace the bottom of the box, moving from right to left.

Repeat this cycle for three times, then check-in to see how much calmer you are. As you begin to use this technique more often, you will train yourself to step out of fear and into calm much faster.

The Hand Meditation is another mindfulness tool that can be used during meetings, eating dinner, or anytime you feel triggered.

It is similar to box breathing, but you are going to trace the outline of one hand with your forefinger as you breathe. 

  • Using your right forefinger, start at the base of your left thumb, and gently touch your hand as you breathe in to the count of four.
  • At the top of your thumb, hold your breath to the count of four.
  • Exhale slowly, while tracing the inside of your thumb to the count of four.
  • Hold for four counts, then trace the outside of the next finger as you inhale to the count of four.
  • Continue this sequence until you have reached the outside of your hand.

 The point of these techniques is to interrupt fear with your intentional breathing. When you interrupt the cascade of stress hormones and return to a state of calm, your decisions, focus, and actions will be based on clear thinking, not an imagine threat.

It’s just another step on Empowered Way.

Love & light,

Kathryn

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