By Latoya Hammond
Have you ever been so overwhelmed with life and you did not know what to do in that moment of feeling trapped within yourself? How did you handle it? Or, did you handle it? Did you allow the moment to overtake you because you did not know what to do? If so then girl, I GOTT U!
So, I had to breathe today. That sounds silly, right? I mean we breathe every day without thought. And, if you do not, I suggest you get that checked out. Seriously though, I went to the gym; came home; cleaned; cooked breakfast; did laundry, and then decided to get some rest. Your girl wanted to sleep with peace and quiet. Now, picture this, my expectation, with two boys on a Saturday afternoon and peace and quiet . . . sounds laughable. My 10-year old is pretty good in the "keeping it down" the department. But oh, that 9-year old? Let us just say he is extremely expressive when playing his games and, no doubt, his friends on the other end of his online chatting are just as enthusiastic. And we all know that when we talk while wearing headphones, we are usually a little louder, and do not even realize it until someone gives us a little tap. So, I spoke . . . well, more like made an announcement, that I will be resting and needed him to keep it down. My 9-year old boy does his best but, his best, is sometimes my worst!
So now, I am tired and sleepy. After speaking with him one last time, we were good. He was not as loud. I would like to say he was about a six and a half with his door closed. But, for whatever reason, when I laid down I felt a feeling of anxiety take over. I kept thinking when will the noise level rise again allowing me no rest at all. Then came my heart beating heavy that I needed to breathe. Something as simple as breathing. Something that, quite honestly, we probably take for granted has also become a very useful tool in moments of anxiety and nervousness. One, two, three to five good breaths in and out. My heart begins beating normally. I experience that heart beating out of my chest dilemma because my mind is thinking about something that has just recently happened or what it anticipates will happen next. What works for me in these moments is to breathe. The breathing allows me to slow down the rhythm of my heart and helps me focus. When I take in these deep breaths, I also make sure my thoughts are positive and taking over the anxious, negative thoughts. Breathe 1,2,3, along with I'm at peace. Breathe, 1,2,3, along with this will get better. Whatever the moment is I am experiencing determines the positive thoughts I begin to think. These moments and experiences do not go away because let's face it, life is going to happen. What is important is that we have a plan of action for how we will handle the overwhelm when it comes.
Ladies, I believe it is important that as women we have practical ways to handle anxious or negative thoughts. We wear so many hats and our lives and give of ourselves in so many ways. We must make sure that our self-care arsenal is full of ways to deal with overwhelming moments of stress, pressure, anxiety, doubts, and fear. Breathing in positive thoughts helps to address two very important parts of our state of being – our physical and mental health. So, I encourage you today to begin breathing.