A Lesson Learned

I was in a hurry- as usual, and hopped in the car to make my appointment. Driving through my town to get to the main highway, the picture above you see was happening to my right. (There are no filters or editing done on the above and below pictures.) Being on time could wait… this was amazing.

The sky had an almost otherworldly glow…fog was mysteriously swirling…low cloud filtered the new day as a masterpiece was appearing before me. Just taking a minute to absorb the beauty of the scene before me helped mitigate the stress of hurrying to make the appointment. (I still arrived 5 minutes early and was in a much calmer state of mind.)

How many times have we not stopped, not taken two minutes to pause and appreciate something beautiful right in front of us? In this very wacky world and time we are living in, it is sooooo easy to pass right by opportunities to reflect on the truly beautiful and simple gifts we receive every day- if we are willing to look.

With technology being so abundant, our phones smart and smarter, games, research, and social media are all available with the tap of a button…it is very easy to let ourselves be entertained and overwhelmed. Meanwhile, there is a sunrise we are missing, a flower we are not smelling and marveling at the intricacies that make up it’s petals, or smiling at a stranger and having them smile in return.

The person who said “take time to smell the roses” – was spot on. This is so hard to remember and actually apply. At some point in our lives we were not so busy, so wrapped up in instant gratification, or things were just plain simpler.

There are numerous scientific studies that show how our health is affected by not taking time to breathe and reset. This doesn’t have to take hours, or days, but- in as little 60 seconds we are able to just look up – pause, and take a deep breath. Try it.

Right now, just stop reading- close your eyes and take a really deep breath and exhale very slowly. Open your eyes. How do you feel?

When I do this exercise, I feel like a reset button has been hit. No matter what or who is applying stress to our lives – by resetting we are better able to cope, and address the issue or task before us.

Children can learn this exercise and benefit from it throughout their lives. Just as it helps us focus, and release tension that we are carrying- likewise, being frustrated and acting out in children, and adults, can be somewhat mitigated.

I am not advocating closing your eyes while driving. Bad idea. However, if you feel your blood pressure rising and temper becoming short. Just take a deep breath and slowly let it out. This can be done anytime, and anywhere. Try it. Just think what an effect this could have on road rage, on our health (both physical and mental), and on our relationships with others.

A simple thing – but, it helps us look up and see things with a calmer perspective, appreciating our surroundings, others and ourselves just a little more.

This is a lesson learned. Note to self….Take time to breathe.