December Daily Tips #22–Just Breathe

“Don’t just do something; stand there.”~ Bruce D Schneider

Can you feel it?  Along with the joy and the wonder and the parties and the gifts–is stress.  Stress wreaks all sorts of havoc in our bodies over the long term; in the short term it can wreak havoc with our best laid plans for living a healthy lifestyle during the holidays.  When we are stressed, comfort foods (read:  high in fat and/or carbs and low in nutrition) can be especially tempting.  So, if you feel like your shoulders are up near your ears, have a funny pain in your back or neck, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating–just stop.  And breathe.  Take a few moments (not very long at all is needed, really) to stretch a bit, notice your posture,  tune out the world around you, and really focus on your breathing.  Feel the breath all the way into your belly as you inhale for a count of 3, then exhale for another count of 3.  As your breathing begins to calm down and you fill your lungs with fresh clean air (we tend to breathe in shallow breaths when stressed), you will feel the tension begin to drain away. 

Crazy as it sounds, to help control mindless eating, minimize our stress, and maximize being present in the moment–Don’t just do something, stand there!