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Another tip from the Heart Math De-Stress kit!

Heart-focused Breathing to reduce stress and anxiety.
Practice breathing while imagining your breath passing in and out through your heart area or the center of your chest. Envision yourself as taking a time out to refuel your system by breathing in an attitude of calm and balance (like breathing in an emotional tonic to take the rough edges off).

The key to making this exercise effective is to generate the true feeling of calm and balance. You can substitute calm and balance at times with breathing the feeling of appreciation or compassion (or whatever attitude you choose to breathe). This can be done in a quiet place or while walking, jogging, and even in a conversation once you get familiar with it. It’s very helpful for reducing anxiety, anger and mild depression.
Here is the short version of the above technique for quick reference:

1. Imagine the breath passing in and out through the heart or the center of the chest.

2. Breathe an attitude of calm or balance (or whatever positive feeling you choose) to help restore balance.
Heart-focused breathing is being taught by doctors, nurses and clinics throughout the world. It’s especially helpful during times of crisis or whenever you experience anger, anxiety or emotional overload. Heart-focused breathing exercises can help you shift stress-producing attitudes more quickly and reset your stress tolerance baseline.

I recommend that when your energy is low or you are feeling anxious you stop whatever you are doing, close your eyes, take a 3 minute break and do this technique. This is a very quick and effective centering practice.

Breathe deeply and Be in the moment!

Marion & Tracy

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Today, I am posting two more tips from  the De-stress kit and a wonderful exercise (from out book Shift: A Woman’s Guide To Transformation ) to assist you in  getting into your heart for your own self. That is where true transformation takes place.

Tip 1 – Practice appreciation and gratitude.
A helpful exercise for reducing stress and restoring emotional balance is to spend some time each day sending genuine feelings of appreciation to someone or something—be it children, family members, pets or others for whom you feel sincere appreciation. It’s important that the appreciation be heartfelt (not just from the mind), since appreciative feelings activate the body’s biochemical systems that help diminish stress and stabilize the psyche. The practice of appreciation and gratitude
has been proven to help people reconnect with feelings of hope and the heart initiative to progressively move forward.

This exercise is from our book in chapter 1 , which is a free download at: http://www.12keystoshift.com/page13/page13.html

The Loving Benefactor Exercise:
Find a comfortable, seated position on a chair or cushion and allow your body to settle into position. Close your eyes and begin to focus your attention on your breath, following your cycles of inhalation and exhalation. Notice the rising and falling sensations in your belly as you breathe in and out and follow this for a few cycles. Now try to bring to mind a heartfelt sense or visual image of someone whom you believe embodies the qualities of unconditional love and compassion. This person can be a friend or relative, a religious or historical figure, a spiritual being or just someone who embodies these qualities. Picture this person as if they were sitting or standing right in front of you.

Look into their eyes and feel the absolute unconditional love and compassion flowing from them towards you. Now, radiate feelings of love and gratitude back towards this person. Whenever you feel your mind wandering, gently bring your attention back to the image of the loving friend, historical or spiritual image and once again practice radiating love, empathy and compassion towards them. Feel their love, empathy and compassion radiating back towards you. Stay with your Loving Benefactor and feel their love flowing to you and your love flowing to them for up to 20 minutes. Know that this Loving Benefactor is sending you love every minute of every day.

Tip 2. – Decrease drama.
Another effective way to help stop energy drain and reduce anxiety is this:  Practice not feeding the tendency towards “drama” during this critical time. When we constantly spin thoughts of blame, anger and “doom and gloom” projections about the future, it increases drama, which always makes things worse. Adding drama to a situation blinds intuitive discernment, which we need to find the most effective ways to navigate through challenges. Start practicing by trying to decrease drama when sharing with others. When we genuinely share feelings from the heart with others, this reduces the tendency to keep amplifying and repeating the downside of situations—and increases the tendency to strengthen and encourage sober support and solutions. Naturally, there will be some drama while expressing our feelings to others. But when excessive drama continues, it blocks solutions because it drains the mind and emotions, leaving us feeling worse. Practice reducing drama, but try not to judge yourself or others for creating it. Everyone is doing the best they can until they get more stable and secure. Try to proceed with compassion through all your interactions.

More suggestions for decreasing drama:
When you catch your inner dialogue looping with excessive worry or fearful projections, or when you find yourself overdramatizing the downside of things, gently tell yourself:  “That’s not helping to change something that’s already done; it
can only make it worse.” Then make a genuine attempt to realign your thoughts and feelings with those that support your needs and objectives. You may not be able to stop all the internal drama, but, you can effectively reduce your energy drain and offset your stress deficit with this exercise. Continuously amping-up anger, anxiety and fear releases excessive levels of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenalin, throughout the body. The long-play version of this can cause a cascade of physical health symptoms, along with potential mental and emotional imbalances. As you practice reducing drama, the energy you save helps restore balance, clarity and positive initiative.
Take care not to judge yourself if you slip backwards at times. It’s okay. We all do. Just reinstate your heart commitment to practice, and then move on. Each small effort you make really helps.

Check out the website at :http://www.heartmath.org

Stay in your heart!

Marion Ross PhD.

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