‘Remember to breathe’, is one of my most favorite pieces of advice.  Christmas is a very stressful time for the majority of people in the Western world and more and more information is coming out about the harmful effect of stress on our bodies. Most breathing techniques are for rebalancing and de-stressing the body. I like this technique because I can use it while I’m in line waiting to be served or sitting in traffic waiting to move. It’s from one of my most favorite people on the planet Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk that lives in the South of France. This is from his book; Touching Peace, Practicing the Art of Mindful Living.

“…breathe in and out, focusing your attention on each breath. Without thinking of anything else, you say silently, Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. If you want, you can just say In as you breathe in, and Out as you breathe out.

Nice, I feel calmer just typing that.

“Then, when you feel ready, try the second verse, Breathing in, I see myself as a flower. Breathing out, I feel fresh. When you breathe in, say Flower and when you breathe out, say Fresh.”

He has a whole series of these saying. There was some traffic trauma that I needed to wait to be resolved the other day and I got into improvising while I sat in my car waiting for the drama to be sorted out.

Breathing in I am a cloud. Breathing out I am free.

Breathing in I am a tree. Breathing out I am grounded.

Breathing in I am a commuter. Breathing out I am moving.

Breathing in I am a shopper. Breathing out I am being served.

Always good to combine a little positive visualisation in there. Remember to breathe and have a fun, loving holiday season.