Breath and Relax…

Breath and Relax…

I am stressed…really stressed…

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Every year (sometimes more than once a year), my Mother-In-Law comes to town. If there was ever a more condecending, opinionated and passive agressive woman alive, I have not met her.

Not only does she seem to take pleasure in belittling the ideas and opinions of others, she seems to particularly enjoy pointing out where I am “wrong” and things that she generally finds to the “stupid”.   If she were simply very intelligent and liked to flaunt it, I would almost respect the woman.  The fact that she chooses to place her soapbox on the most ridiculously biased or inaccurate statements makes my blood boil.  If it is truly worth making someone feel little because of their choice in shoes or TV shows, then just imagine the kick that she gets out of the big topics like my baby’s diet, breastfeeding and how special and important her own daughter is.

Needless to say, she is here and the barrage of negativity has begun and in my effort to be polite and act the lady that I was raised to be and not the raging beast inside who would love nothing more than to slap her,  I am keeping quiet and simmering.

The particularity impressive gems from last night were:

All wine in Australia comes with screw tops (wrong, there are some)

There are no curling rinks in Australia (wrong, there are several)

Absolutely no homes in Australia have curtains and the very idea of it is stupid. She also pointed out that I am also not familiar with modern Australian homes. (so wrong… and ridiculous. I am familiar with Australian home magazines that have plenty of curtains)

8 other things were also deemed to be “stupid” over the 45 minutes of dinner along with anyone who would like them.

And my personal favorite:

The wine that I was drinking with a sweetness code of 01 (off dry) was not, in fact, sweeter than the 00 (dry) that she was drinking but that she liked it. Wait…wait… no… she doesn’t like it after all.

 The point here is that I need to relax and so turned to an old (but strange) favorite.  I can almost guarantee that if you give this a try and really get into it, that you will begin to relax and begin to clear your mind.

 Alternate nostril breathing (pranayama)

This is a technique that I like to use to get ready for meditation or to calm my mind when I find that it is racing (which happens more and more these days). This breathing technique allows the mind to re-balance because it is believed that the nostrils are not created equal.  Studies have shown that we actually breath more through one of our nostrils and it is believed that they are wired differently to the brain.

The left nostril is for calmness and right for energy.

The breathing technique is very simple.  Find a comfortable place preferably somewhere quiet if you can and take a deep breath.

Assume the position-  Place your index finger between your eyebrow.  Then place your right thumb over your right nostril and your ring finger over your left nostril. 

Begin to Breath-  Use your thumb to close your right nostril and inhale deeply through left nostril.

Pause-  Pause for a second

Switch –   Close left nostril with ring finger and release your thumb off of your right nostril

Exhale –  Exhale fully  through your right nostril

Breath in –  inhale through your right nostril

Pause Again – Pause

Switch- Close off your right nostril with your thumb releasing your left nostril.

Exhale –  Exhale fully through your left nostril

Repeat – Run through the steps at least 2-3 times making sure to be mindful of your breathing. Out and in  through each nostril in turn.

This works because it takes more mental power than you think to breath in and out and switch nostrils.  It will calm the mind and bring you back to center.  Of course, what you do from there is up to you but it will at least provide a few moments of peace.

Chamomile Tea

If you do not have somewhere to sit and breath or you want to get even more relaxed, reach for chamomile tea.  Chamomile actually has mild sedative ingredients which is why it is usually suggested to those with trouble sleeping.  Some studies have shown that it is also a nerve relaxant and so simply sipping this tea will help dissolve some of the tension that you are holding on to.  Brew up a cup and find a quiet space to take a few minutes to relax.

Wine

No.. wait… I am not supposed to say that am I?

Whatever way you choose to relax, remember that the only person who’s behavior you can really change is your own.  She might drive you nuts and insult you and belittle you but how you choose to react to it says as much about you as her poor behaviors says about her.

Namaste ladies…you are not alone.

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