2 Nervous Habits that you CAN Change
My mindfulness practice leads me to some recent observations within myself as I prepared for a new endeavor. So the questions begged, what habits can you notice in yourself if you were paying attention? How do I change them? Sure there are the minor nervous tendencies like nail biting or fidgeting, but looking beyond to the ones that paralyze you.
Putting off shit that you really need to handle, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. In this case, it's not because it is of lower priority, but because you are nervous, and its consumed you. You may be stuck in a cloud of indecision. The other things that you had planned for that day are on to the next day because you are so focused on this one area, but not in a laser-focused "I have to hone in, and finish this project sort of way" but in the"oh shit, I am walking to the edge of the cliff today- I can handle nothing else."
Are a sure fire way to ensure your procrastination efforts (whether you're aware or not) are alive and well. This means you find yourself engaged in unrelated and often unproductive things like television, social media, playing the tenth round of fetch with your cat. Your productivity on any level is ranging in the 0-5% level. Whether it be at work or home.
Then you notice that your nails are short because you've been biting them, you have been cracking your knuckles, in my case taking multiple showers to attempt in relaxation and wash away any built up armpit smell from sweating (fun fact, the odor is more pungent when you are anxious) yay!
So what the french does a person do? First things first: Realization, being conscious of what is happening, mindfulness helps you take notice by observing those behaviors. You can't purposefully change something that you are unaware of.
Breathe. Differently. Purposefully. A number of breathing techniques reduce stress sending your body into the parasympathetic resting stage.
Even breaths through the nostrils.
Focusing on your breath brings your attention inside your body, and not on the stressor. This practice increases oxygen changing your energy, increasing alertness (for better decision making) lowering your blood pressure, reducing stress/anxiety.
“4-7-8” breathing exercise from Andrew Weil, M.D., founder, and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine: Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for four counts. Hold your breath for seven counts. Then, exhale while mentally counting to eight. Repeat the cycle three more times. (That’ll take you less than 2 minutes.)
(There are so many techniques and founders that I have come across over the years that I can't even remember them all I will update the post as I can).
Box breathing is counts of 4.
Breathing while simply counting mentally. 22.214.171.124. Not worrying about the breath AS much, but more so keeping your shit together and bringing the awareness to the counting. Sometimes I will go much higher, but then bring it back down.
Focus on where your breath is coming from, exhaling fully, then inhaling allowing your stomach to expand first then bringing the breath into the lungs.
Practice making yourself yawn, releasing your diaphragm.
If you are interested in a guided meditation exercise for breathing send me an email.
Shift your mindset. Make the choice to not lean on your fears, nerves, and behaviors resulting from those thoughts and feelings. Remembering that we are not as primal as our reactions tend to be. We have choices. We have ownership and responsibility of ourselves. You CAN tell your brain "there is not a saber tooth tiger running toward me, I am going to a meeting, let's bring it down a notch."
Once we make that choice, we can move forward- bringing our energy to the other moving parts of our life. Start with a small project or task- knock that out (building confidence) or go big. Think priority, what is the most productive thing that I could do for myself today? What would make my life easier? Do the laundry, go grocery shopping, finish the report, write down your ideas for a project.
Exercise, do any sort of physical exercise, it will release endorphin's leading to positive feelings, sweating which releases built up toxins. Of course, by exercising your breath will change but it is still a perfect time to be aware of your breathing, making it more effective for the body's ability to perform.
Last but not least. Anyone of these things has the ability to change your life and your existence as you know it today, blending all of them is the perfect recipe for a transformation.
Change your internal monologue. "I am scared, nervous, stressed, anxious." NOT helpful. "I am excited, curious, calm, confident." The power of these 2 words is astounding. Often a self-fulfilling prophecy certainly increases the difficulty or ease to move past a 'roadblock.' Changing the "broken record" shifts your entire mental awareness, the energy in your body, the efforts you put forth, the appearance you carry into the world.
Please let me know how these techniques work for you, remember our lives are full of practice and that lifestyle changes are one step at a time. We can see immediate results in some areas, where others are gradual. Each one worth every effort we put forth into growing, learning, and being the best version of ourselves. For every person that is a better human being, we contribute to humanity as a whole.