Are you stressed? Many of us are much of the time. Stress isn't all bad, but too much for too long can be. Often what stresses us out the most are those things we have so little control over. They might be the expectations that we've accepted from others or placed on ourselves. They might be opportunities or future goals. They might be mistakes or misgivings. They might be a host of things that don't have anything to do with this present moment, the here and now.
There is not one solution to stress, some magic mantra that will make all things right. Rather we need a toolbox with lots of tools. (If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail). You've already got a toolbox for dealing with stress. We all do. Here is one of my favorites because, you can master it in minutes, practice it anywhere, and it almost always makes things better.
Thats right. Breathe. Breathe deeply. Breathe s-l-o-w-l-y. We can't live long without breathing, and I'm not sure we can live well without breathing deeply. Would you be willing to try it? Try taking a few deep breaths, the kind that fill up your belly. Breathe slowly, like you're savoring the experience. Try closing your eyes, and smiling. Seriously. It really does help to let go of whatever you're carrying that isn't yours to carry and to arrive here and now in the present moment.
This experience might bring to mind Genesis 2:7, where God breathes into Adam's nostrils the breath of life. You might envision God breathing into your nostrils that same breath. That same source of life. In this way, this moment has not only been a source of relaxation, but also an encounter with your Creator.
What are some of your quick fixes when you're feeling stressed?