Relax, and take a nice deep breath...

Relax, and take a nice, deep breath....

There is a reason that nearly all meditation exercises begin with slow, intentional breathing: deep breaths activate the relaxation response, one of the functions of the parasympathetic aspect of the autonomic nervous system. From Wikipedia: “The parasympathetic nervous system is one of the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system, the other being the sympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating the body's unconscious actions. The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of "rest-and-digest" or "feed and breed" activities that occur when the body is at rest, especially after eating, including sexual arousal, salivation, lacrimation (tears), urination, digestion and defecation. Its action is described as being complementary to that of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for stimulating activities associated with the fight-or-flight response.”
Notice when you feel anxious (sympathetic system) that your breath is usually shallow, and it can be difficult to take a deep breath. Having a regular meditation, centering, and/or relaxation practice makes it easier to access the parasympathetic system - what we practice regularly becomes habit.
And practice throughout the day. See if you can notice when you begin to feel agitated - because the driver in front of you was going slow you missed the light - someone courteously removed their shoes coming in the house but unthinkingly left them blocking the entryway - minor inconveniences which can be annoying - and when you do notice your mood being tweaked take a moment to take a couple of breaths, and consciously relax your body. When you have a moment with nothing to do - standing in line, on hold with customer service - rather than check your devise, consciously and intentionally relax, scanning your body from head to toe, releasing any points of tension you find.
Relax, and take a nice, deep breath. It’s likely that your life will be longer, and it’s certain that you will enjoy it more.

Julia Rogers Hamrick has beautiful inspiration about how to enjoy life at

The Easy World invocation: "I choose to live in Easy World, where everything is easy. Breathe. Relax. Allow. Enjoy." - Thank you, Julia!


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