As the reality of end of the semester finals and last minute work duties set in at the GCSW, it’s difficult to stop and take a quick breather and be mindful of the present moment. In all honestly, my first reaction when someone tells me to calm down or not stress about finding parking are to just give them THE LOOK. I think back to a popular internet meme, and all I can mutter out in response after THE LOOK is that “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
But, guess what? You do have time for that. Heck, you need that. I’m talking about you, fellow GCSW Student.
So, in case you have forgotten the steps, I’m going to walk you through a quick version breathing exercise to get your memory jogging. I currently have an awesome professor who uses this method before class to help us get centered and to temporarily relieve ourselves of our daily schedule, to do lists, and parking woes. It is a breathing/mindfulness exercise where we choose and control (yes, I said it) our focus of attention and present moment. Ready?
First: Be comfy. Close your eyes, uncross your legs.
Second: Breathing. With eyes closed, inhale through the nose, then exhale through your mouth. Repeat 3 times (you’ll get the hang of it!). Do this slowly, and inhale and exhale deeply.
Third: While eyes are closed, and still following the breathing pattern, think about what is bothering you, or on your to do list, or just wandering in your head. Imagine in your head that you place all of these things into a box, then push that box aside. Or kick it aside. Whatever you prefer. (I love imagining placing the UH campus in a box…or my 10 page paper in there!)
Fourth: Open your eyes. Feel any different? A bit lighter? Perhaps the tension in your shoulders is relieved a bit?
As corny as doing a breathing exercise may sound, taking a minute or two to go through these steps really helps me before class or in the car before I head in to work. Make the commitment of trying it out at least once a week during your particularly tough days, and I can guarantee that you will notice a difference and have fewer incidences of THE LOOK.