Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Monday Meditation: Just Breathe

on February 20, 2012


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. Has meditation helped you see the clarity in your work or life?

(Photo by J. Purkey, 2003)

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


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.)


Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing,


And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. Bob Mayer Jenni Holbrook Kristen Lamb Inspiration for Writers, Inc. Natalie Markey Amy Shojai


Check out my new website Joy E. Held


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Be well, write well

7 responses to “Monday Meditation: Just Breathe

  1. […] Just Breathe! stress relief tips from awesome author and blogger Joy Held […]


  2. […] Just Breathe! stress relief tips from awesome author and blogger Joy Held […]


  3. msspencer says:

    Sweetie, you made my day AGAIN. I get all caught up in politics sometimes & have documented the steam coming out of my ears. But the most insidious stresser is the feeling that I should be doing something “productive” rather than writing. Your little “tips” tell me I’m where I should be, doing what I love most. Thank you.


    • Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog says:

      Everything happens for a reason in my way of thinking. I’m one who will AGREE that you are definitely where you should be when you’re writing. Love your work (but you knew that!)


  4. Joanna Aislinn says:

    Hey Joy,

    I like how getting caught up in something I love and letting time fly as a strong indicator of what I’m meant to do. Reading, writing, walking–all that fits and makes this girl feel very relaxed. Very interesting, too, how ‘relax’ has expectations attached. Back in my hospital days, when we worked with patients whose muscles got too tight, we always used the term, “Let go.” “Relax” somehow implied something the patient needed to actively do. “Let go” did not.

    Great post!


    • Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog says:

      Interesting comment. I’ll think about the difference between ‘relax’ and ‘let go’ for awhile now. Thanks!


  5. […] Just Breathe! stress relief tips from awesome author and blogger Joy Held […]


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