As I’ve mentioned, I’m working on an ebook. It’s called 101 Ways to Make Space, and it contains a series of experiments in changing your habits and refreshing your routines…so that you can have more space: in your home, in your schedule, in your brain and in your body.
Today I want to talk about what I mean by “space in your body”, by sharing three simple, accessible things to do when you’re feeling…overwhelmed. Stressed. Crammed in a little too tight, with so many thoughts and feelings happening all at once, you might just go crazy. Or cry.
If you allow yourself to sink into these, it’s kind of like clicking the refresh button. I daresay, you’ll find that you can re-approach the exact same situations with a little more ease.
1. Take a deep breath
I know, so cliché, right? Well, do me a solid and act like you’ve never heard it before. Act like it’s not cliché, and give it a try because maybe the reason it’s cliché is that it actually works.
First notice the way you’re breathing now. Then make a concentrated effort to go big. Start by breathing deep into your belly, letting the air into your lungs like you’re filling up a glass of water from bottom to top. Suck in more and more air until you feel your rib cage expand and your collarbone lift, making your lungs take up more and more space that they weren’t inhabiting, just a moment ago.
Then exhale every molecule back out again, from top to bottom. Repeat as needed.
Doing this releases all of the stale, spent air that has hovered in the bottom third of your lungs during your normal breathing, and replaces it with fresh, spacious, clean air…like throwing open a window.
2. Make space in your spine
Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Imagine there is a balloon tied to the crown of your head, and feel your spine straighten and make vertical space that wasn’t there before…let the balloon lift you up, with ease, until you are actually sitting taller. Let your shoulder blades relax behind you, and notice how your chest has more space to breathe in front of you.
Think about how different this feels than just a moment ago, when your shoulders were hunched, your spine curved, and your heart and lungs tucked in that curved hollow made by your slouching torso. Revel in the new space you just created for yourself, and carry it with you into the rest of your day.
3. Drink a glass of water.
Pour yourself some fresh water in a beautiful glass. Before you take even a sip, remember that this water is on a mission to cleanse and refresh your organs, replenish your blood and all the systems of your body, to bring fresh hydration and carry out all the molecules and waste your body has digested, used and no longer needs.
All you need to do is drink it, and let your body take care of the rest. Your body already knows how to make space for the new by clearing out the old, without you having to figure out all the particulars…you just need to feed her a glass of water.
There you have it! Instant space, in three easy steps.
I’d love to hear what you think—can you feel the difference? Which of the three was your favorite? Leave a note in the comments!
P.S. If you liked this post, I bet you’ll also like this one: 9 ways to take care of your basic human needs.
P.P.S. This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, 101 Ways to Make Space. If you want to hear when it’s published, be sure to sign up here.