Have you set aside time to exhale?

Have you set aside time to exhale?

Are you finding yourself constantly fleeting through tight and busy schedules, juggling between unending deadlines and being incessantly in communication while barely getting the time to be present, enjoy an experience, or live in the moment?  Living in such a state of excessive stimulation can leave you mentally fatigued and lower your productivity.

Life is full of external stresses that can have a negative effect on our physical and mental health. Sometimes doing nothing beyond inhaling and exhaling is the most productive thing we can do! In today’s landscape of over stimulation – from the media, smart devices, multitasking, high-stress work environments and more – we are often left feeling increasingly anxious. You are not alone if you find yourself in this space. It is very important that you make it a priority to find your calm and reset so that you can reclaim your mental space amidst any busy schedule.

The Importance of an Exhale

Breathing affects every single system of your body, so it makes sense that your breathing patterns will strongly influence your well-being. Poor breathing habits, such as shallow, chest breathing and holding your breath from time-to-time can wreak havoc on your health and medical research has linked less-than-optimal breathing habits to heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, lack of energy, poor posture, and low back and neck pain. There is a growing body of evidence that breathing with an emphasis on the exhalation helps us relax, prevent disease, and enhance our health. Scientists are just beginning to understand how exhale-dominant breathing benefits us. Blowing air out stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS governs the relaxation response that combats stress and enables us to relax, digest nutrients, express ourselves, heal, and recover from trauma and injuries. The PNS also helps us appreciate beauty, feel pleasure, and think of creative solutions to our problems. This can only be achieved when you deliberately and intentionally set aside time to just simply exhale.

Reset before you cross over

Before leaping out into the New Year, it is important to set aside some time to disengage and anchor your thoughts in order to achieve mental wellbeing. It is important to identify your “happy place” so that you can reset. Think of the wholesome things that make you happy. It could be a place you loved, a place you long to be or an enriching experience you cherished so much you would love to have it again. Whatever your happy place is, it’s your mental safety net. Think about this once in a while. Visualize it, taking in the sights and sensations. This will reset your thoughts and help guide you to what you really want and what you really enjoy.

Find at least an hour when you turn off devices. We all know that you can’t be two places at the same time. We think we can multitask but do we really do it well?

This year you may have fallen short. You said and did some things you’re not proud of. You’ve made mistakes. Many of us have that same story. Before entering the new year, forgive yourself (and others) for everything. Leave the shortcomings of that year there and don’t look back. The only things you should move forward with are the lessons you learned. Take time to reflect on the ways you stood in your own way. What are things you’ve spoken over yourself? Ask yourself difficult questions. Get into your own mind and figure out where you may have lost control, or where you have been completely victorious. Taking the time and thought to ask and answer these questions can help you identify key habits to work on in the coming year. Resolutions aren’t just about achieving goals, it’s also about understanding the self-work that must occur to reach those goals. It’s about abolishing insecurity, doubt, shame, and regret to truly operate in your calling, become a better you, and get the work done.

There are so many ways that we can reset our whole selves before we cross over into a new year. Exhale meaningfully by letting go of habits, people, or things that weigh you down or hold you back from what truly matters. When a habit becomes so rigid, a relationship becomes unhealthy, it may be time to let it go and leave it behind.

Cynthia Chirinda is a Communications Strategist, Human Capital and Organisational Culture Optimizer. As a Life Coach, Author, and publishing consultant, her published books speak to matters that position individuals and leaders to achieve their significant goals. Looking at improving your career, DEIB in the workplace, personal effectiveness, communication skills, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Our therapy sessions and coaching strategies can help you and achieve your goals. E-mail: cynthia@cynthiac.net. Whatsapp: +1 (646)641 5105. Website:www.cynthiac.net.