In the last lesson, you learned the final breathing technique within this course, the stimulating breath. As mentioned previously, after you have tried out each of these 3 techniques, pick ONE to focus on daily for the next 2 weeks.
Again, I recommend either the Relaxation breath OR the Breath Counting technique as these will be the aptest to help you in stress relief.
But the question is, HOW do you work these into your routine? When you are constantly going, going, going, changing any part of your life can be difficult.
So there are a few steps that I recommend to take in order to work this new habit and the new habits to come into your daily routine.
First, spend a couple of days tracking where you spend your time currently.
Be specific with the amount of time you are taking for each task. For example, if you typically eat lunch from 12:37-1:05 pm, then write down 12:37-1:05. Do NOT write 12:40-1 or 12:30-1:10, etc.
Specificity is key because, particularly when it comes to these breathing techniques, not a ton of time is needed. So it is possible that you COULD fit in the 4-7-8 technique within the 2 minutes that you have to spare.
After you have tracked your time for a few days, and you feel that you have a good representation of where your time goes then take a look at where you have pockets of time that you could fit in a new technique.
The goal is NOT to have 30 minutes of time. 10 minutes at the most is all you are looking for.
If you are not finding any time where you can feasibly fit in a technique, then I would challenge you to go back and determine what you can cut out.
Where are you doing tasks that aren't serving you or your family? How much time do you spend daydreaming? Talking to a friend? Etc. Figure out how to work smarter, not harder.
In reality, you should not be spending every waking minute doing something. You MUST have even a few minutes of downtime somewhere.
When all else fails, consider practicing the 4-7-8 breath when you go to the bathroom.
Put the time that you have identified as your dedicated stress relief time into your calendar. This is called time blocking:
Set the alarm!
Be diligent about following your schedule.
Remember, NO ONE is going to prioritize your stress relief needs for you. You MUST become an advocate for yourself.
If, after some time NONE of the above is working, then make a habit of practicing your technique as soon as you wake up in the morning and/or just before laying down for the night.
YOUR TASK: Complete the action steps in this lesson of tracking your time, identifying where you either have pockets of time to fit in stress relief OR where you can cut something out to make time for stress relief, and then put the dedicated time into your calendar and set the alarm. If all else fails, practice as soon as you wake up or just before bed.
In the next lesson, we will start to discuss mindfulness and meditation techniques.