Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Monday Meditation: Just Breathe

on January 10, 2011

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Relax? What does that really mean? It can mean taking a moment in the face of stress and remembering how inconsequential the problem is. But is that practical? What if the problem is a really big issue like something burning? Thankfully, the natural “fight or flight” response will kick in and you can probably put the fire out but what about responding to the everyday stresses we encounter all the time? It all matters a little bit but how we react to the situation is the real cause of most of our stress. It’s a matter of choice.

I believe that what causes the most stress for people are expectations. The fear of not living up to the hype causes us to tense up and that tension results in poo-poo thinking and the release of stress hormones that don’t dribble out later. They hang around and sludge up the works making blood sticky, muscles achy, and thinking unclear.

What helps? Breathing helps. Meditation helps. Exercise helps. Loving helps. Heck, hugging helps reduce the stress response and makes us think maybe we can cope with all this crap after all. Everything happens for a reason, and you are here now at this moment for a reason living life the way you are. You may not know it, but I think the human experience is only about finding that reason for living and pursuing it with everything you’ve got body and soul.

Find your reason for living by paying attention to the little things and to how fast time flys when you’re engaged in a particular activity. When do you lose all track of time? When do you feel refreshed no matter how intense the activity? When is your thinking focused on one thing and nothing else can get in until you let it? These are clues to finding your reason for being here, for contributing to the existential drama that causes us so much stress because we don’t know for sure what our true purpose in life is supposed to be.

Be still, breathe, and listen and the answer will overpower the stress.

(Photo by J. Purkey, 2003)

Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity

Who Dares Wins Publishing


2 responses to “Monday Meditation: Just Breathe

  1. Bob Mayer says:

    I tend to take some time every afternoon and lie down. I cover my eyes and relax. Usually, this comes after I run with my two dogs, so they jump on the bed and one puts his head on my legs and the other puts her head on my chest and we all are still for a while. I keep my iPhone in hand and use it to record thoughts that come to me. Most of my creativity comes out of stillness.

  2. Jenni Holbrook-Talty says:

    I started the new year off with regular exercise and I have to say some of my stresses have declined. For me the biggest problem is I’m pulled in a million directions, always multi-tasking. I’m learning to take one task at a time and focus on that. Its helping!

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