When you woke up this morning, you were fully aware of all you have to do. The projects, engagements and meetings can feel overwhelming, and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet. It will be so tempting to just hunker down and start slogging away.
That’s not a bad thing, until it is. It works for the short term but can have disastrous results over the long term. The stress you accumulate causes you to feel tired and burned out. Feeling compelled to push and drive yourself only exacerbates your stress.
During this busy season of opportunity, you don’t have time to take a vacation, spend a day at the beach or even visit the spa. But you need to do something because you’re not at your best. You’re slowing down, making mistakes and not able to concentrate.
What’s Really Happening
When you become stressed, your body rallies into an alert mode, which focuses your mind on the dangers around you, ready to fight or flee at any moment. Even though there is no real danger, your brain is cued as if it were so. Likewise, your breathing becomes quick and shallow, robbing your body of oxygen, creating even more stress. When you’re in this state for very long, you are not even aware of your condition.The only quick way to halt the stress cycle is to interrupt it. This is where you have to slow down in order to speed up.
Breathe baby. Breathe
This is something I’ve written about that has proven to be effective. It’s simple, quick and works. Breathe. That’s right. Breathe. Put your pen down, push yourself away from the keyboard and breathe. Slowly. Inhale and exhale. The key is to slow down and get out of the tension moment so that you can reset yourself to a less-stressed state. It’s not wasted time.
If you make this brief exercise a regular practice a few times a day, you will be able to take on all the challenges you face. This season, slow down to speed up.