It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
Feeling stressed? Who isn’t? Take a deep breath and count to eight. Why eight? Well, sometimes 10 just takes too long. Of course, if you can find the time to take some deep breaths and focus on your breathing every day for longer than an eight count, all the better — but sometimes the schedule just doesn’t allow for it. The key is to take a moment or two –or eight– every day to breath, relax and get focused. It’s meditation at its simplest, and it really works.
Researchers have found that a simple meditation program did more than just help participants manage stress: It actually changed their brains so that they became less reactive to stress. The U.S. Army has even included basic mindfulness meditations in its resiliency training. If it helps prepare soldiers for combat, think of what it can do for the typically non-life-threatening dilemmas we civilians face every day.
If you’re prone to forget to do things like this, get in the habit of associating it with a specific activity that you do every day. Maybe try breathing and counting while your morning coffee brews or for a few minutes before lunch. So remember: Count to eight to help keep stress from controlling you!