I love life hacks. A shortcut to get to work, an alternative way to plant my garden, or make meatloaf; if it is quicker, better or both, I’m in. At first a hack feels awkward and uncomfortable, as the new often does. Initially, the new “shortcut” may take more time because our brains are creating brand new pathways. That new brain path is being created as we walk it. (Isn’t that true for everything we are doing these days?) In the long run, a good life hack allows the day to flow a bit more smoothly. Who couldn’t use a little more flow in life?
In these days when nothing seems normal and our brains are so busy trying to make sense of it all, what are your life hacks to strengthen your heart? What do you do at the end of day to allow your body and soul to rest? I’m not talking about the beautiful long walk, or the online yoga class you might enjoy, but the quick, in-the-moment practice that allows your brain to switch from stressed to calm, from hurried to peaceful, from heavy to light? While we don’t want to exchange our more lengthy practices like yoga, meditation or walking, including a short “life hack” may be just what you need to drop off to sleep.
Inhaling the last moments of sunlight, remembering the good your experienced throughout the day, or witnessing how the body actually feels are all ways to tend to the heart.
We are living in a time when many of us are trying to tame our anxiety and could sure use an extra dose of peace. This little life hack is an alternative breath exercise. Like any “new” practice, it may feel slightly awkward at first. It is rather simple, and offers a calming body rhythm. Here is how it is done.
- Get comfortable, lengthen your back, pull your shoulders back.
- Close your left nostril with your left index finger.
- Inhale with your right nostril.
- Now, release your left nostril and with your right index finger, close your right nostril.
- Exhale with your left nostril.
- Repeat steps 2-5.
That is in. Inhale with one nostril and exhale with the other. Once your fingers get a rhythm, your thoughts can relax into a gentle in and out rhythm.
With all the new we do, our brains are working very hard to keep up. Remember to practice compassion both for you and those around you. We are all doing the best with what we have available to us in this moment. And, we are all in this together.
Breathing together, Andrea