I think we all have been in a place, at some point in our life, where it feels nearly impossible to get it together. The feeling of being overwhelmed is constant and the idea of resting or getting some sort of peace begins to look like a joke. I have been in this exact space so many times, it is hard to put any sort of numerical value to my struggles. I have two young children and a job that requires a lot from me both physically and mentally to be successful. The feeling of being overwhelmed could be a constant for me, but I somehow have managed to stay afloat. I have been able to remain in a positive state of mind, no matter the conflicts surrounding me. I don’t have a scientific way to stay positive, nor have I conducted any sort of factual research study, but I can tell you from my experience what works.
I never really thought that breathing could assist me in staying calm and positive. I didn’t realize this technique until I started to work on being consistent with my mediation/prayer and of course with mediation comes a focus on breathing. When I’m overwhelmed and have starting thinking about what I did in my past to deserve the world turning its back on me, I breathe. I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed, I take on this jittery mindset, which translates to me having trouble concentrating, lack of motivation, and the list goes on. One of the worst things I do when I’m in a negative mindset is over analyze everything. Every situation turns into an immediate concern and I find it difficult to create solutions. Breathing has helped me overcome the scariness of the unknown.
When I say that breathing helps, I’m not talking about the normal day- to- day breathing we do to stay alive, but more of the intentional breathing. To get the full benefits of using breathing to stay positive, the most important thing to do is to stop moving. Literally stop moving your body and focus in on your breathing pattern. When I stopped, and focused on exactly how I was breathing, I noticed that I was pretty much just breathing to get by. However, When I keyed in on taking my time to breathe, I was helping myself calm down and with my focus on my breathing, that meant that my problems for even just a short period of time disappeared and I could get a slice of peace. After noticing the benefits of that small time of not being overwhelmed, I was hooked and now I make it a habit to intentionally meditate/pray every day for at least 10 minutes. It has opened my mind and helped me stay in an abundant mindset because even throughout the day, when my middle schoolers start working my nerves, I stop…and I breathe, focusing in on only my breathing.
I have always wondered why I didn’t listen to that small inner voice more often when I was younger. It would have made things a lot easier. Now, I trust in that inner voice more than ever because I know now that voice is the Lord’s, guiding me on my path. It’s that small voice that says “Be patient…it’s going to work out.” One of the ways that I stay in a positive mind set is to receive what the Lord has given me. That can range from a creative idea or just providing me with the opportunity to wake up every morning. Any time I get frustrated, I stop the negative thoughts from coming by focusing on all the things I have and it helps me understand the true meaning of living a life in abundance.
The best way that I have obtained a level of calm during crazy times is the fact that I have learned how to release the negative. I don’t hold onto those issues that I have no control over and I have worked hard not to create imaginary scenarios to stress over. After I understood that majority of my stress and negativity came from me either holding on to grudges, or me making up horrible ways a situation could turn out, I knew that I could maintain a positive mood. Nothing good comes out of over analyzing a situation that you have no control over. The way that I check to see if I have control over the situation is by simply asking myself if I have any concrete facts. If there are no facts to back up my specific worry, then I let it go. If I don’t have a plausible solution after thinking about the situation, then I pray and meditate about it and then release it. Harboring confusion only leads to frustration. There is no way to predicate the future, but we spend a bulk of our time being worried and intimidated by the what if’s of the future. We spending so much time on something that we can’t control that we forget to live in the moment. Release the negative and allow yourself to be okay with what is in front of you. Just live.
Staying positive 100% of the time is unrealistic because life will happen. I just ask you to try and work toward living a more positive life. Allow yourself to breathe, and remember to receive what is given to you, by releasing what is dragging you down.