Take a Breath

by Yvonne Garris
September 15, 2013
Recently I read an article about taking a “pause” to help break stress during the day. I find that I already try to do this when I get very stressed, but think it is a good idea to maybe schedule times to take a pause or a breath so we don’t get so stressed. According to the article; “The American Medical Association purports that stress is the basic cause of more than 60 percent of all human illness and disease. They also state that stress is the number one proxy killer disease today.” (Amy Jo Martin, 2013) To me these are alarming statistics! As people who have disabilities it is much easier for us to get stressed since, at least in my experience, things can be much more challenging.
Here is what I suggest and what I am trying to implement into my daily routine.
• Be present. Many of us go through the day on autopilot, but pay attention to what is happening around you. I have been trying to do this for a little while now and it really does make a difference. When I am working on the computer and I hear my great niece and nephew playing and laughing I find myself stopping and listening. To me, hearing them laughing and having fun is one of the best sounds in the world and it makes me smile every time. So by being present and being aware of your surroundings you start to notice things that may bring you joy.
• Schedule breaks and time to take a breath or a pause. Each day I stop at least for a half an hour to watch “hot topics” on The View since that is something I really enjoy. If I have time I watch the whole show, but I always try to at least watch the first part which is my favorite. So find something in the middle of the day to take a longer break so you can get away from your work or routine and recharge your batteries. Maybe you could listen to a couple of your favorite songs, or take a walk.
• Try to schedule a couple other breaks during the day. When I could still see and worked, I had a break in the morning and the afternoon, and that really did help to break up the day. Again, these breaks don’t have to be long, maybe just go outside for a couple of minutes or listen to a song or two, the important thing is to walk away from what you are doing to give your brain a break.

Remember that the most important thing to do is to walk away and take a breath! Learning how to control stress is an important skill to master and the tips I listed above will get you started on the right track, just remember to take a breath and if something starts to get to stressful take a few deep breaths and maybe listen to some music or take a walk, just try to give your brain a little break and it will thank you later.