“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray
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As a positivity magician the most common question I get asked is how to stay positive when dealing with negative circumstances.
This is a fair question, because things don’t always go as we’d like. This is especially troublesome when our perspective is too narrow, which allows very little wiggle room for accepting disruptions to our reality.
So, what do we do when life throws us a roadblock and we get stuck? The first thing I do when I find myself in this situation is something I learned from the movie castaway where Tom Hanks’ character said:
“I’ve got to keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide might bring?"
Breathing does two important things:
First, it literally keeps you alive, taking you from a moment of crisis to the moments afterwards. This is especially important if you find yourself experiencing thoughts of self-harm. If you focus on breathing, it erases the thought of self-harm, even if only temporarily. So that’s the first thing.
Second, it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s natural process for calming you down from a stressful situation. This happens on its own all the time, but of you find your mind running wild and you’re getting more and more anxious about whatever your situation is and your body isn’t calming down, you can activate int yourself by taking big deep, long breaths.
The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for returning your lungs to their normal resting state, so by consciously making them larger by taking big deep long breaths, what you’re doing is giving the parasympathetic nervous system a job to do, and when it kicks in you’ll soon experience an increase in calm and relaxation.
This is not to say that it will make your problems magically go away, but what it does do is calm you the heck down so you can address what needs to be addressed without the added stress of worry, anxiety, and a frantic distracted mind.
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Jonas Cain is a Purveyor of Positivity and Facilitator of Fascination, offering support to emerging leaders and their influencers to develop resilience.