All I can think about is calming everyone down, myself included. But after decades of practicing how find internal peace, I still get riled up about things I am passionate about.

Your body will only do what your mind tells it do. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Today, listen; your thinking brain might get you into trouble!

It’s time to take a collective deep breath. Wherever you are right now, breathe in deeply, hold for a short pause, and exhale deeply. Now repeat. And repeat again.

I’ve written before about the positive impacts mindfulness and meditation can have and invite each of you to take three deep breaths whenever you think about it. Maybe every time you go for a coffee, or stop in the rest room, or sit at a stoplight. Walking from place to place is also a great option!

It’s almost impossible to shut our minds down. I hear it all the time, “I’m terrible at meditating…” But little by little, these calming techniques will enhance your ability to stay calm and think clearly. It even allows your brain the ability and space to become more positive, more often.

When life gets hard, it can be especially valuable to simply breathe deeply. When we get scared, or feel vulnerable, staying calm allows us to feel gratitude for what we already have. Just three deep breaths. And in this case, more is always better.

For the next ten days, I challenge you to pick one simple action below and stick with it over and over – just for a day.
Think about what makes you happy. Your kids? Grandkids? Pets? Friends? Sunshine? Fresh Air?
Do one small thing today as a gift to yourself. A special cappuccino? A walk in the park? Listening to your favorite music?
Get off the grid. Take a break from technology & the news. A novel or magazine? Writing in your journal?
Connect with others. Smile and chat with the clerk, the bank teller, or say hello to anyone. Did you make eye contact?
Be where you are. Put your feet on the ground. Feel grounded. Look at your hands. Open your palms. Where are you right now?
Gently touch your fingertips together and feel the beat of your heart. This might take some work for a few of you. Stay with it, it’s quite calming.
Find something to laugh about; or someone to laugh with, or just start laughing! YouTube is filled with funny videos! It’s completely contagious!
Think about your closest relationships. How are they? Maybe a phone call? (No complaining though!)
Forgive yourself. No one can beat us up better than we can beat ourselves! I do it too; but find one thing you tell yourself that you can bag today!
Get rid of the word “should” for at least one day. We don’t really have to do so much of what we think we “should” do. Give yourself a break.
And keep breathing… Stressful events allow us to practice bouncing back. Even if it means bouncing back a thousand times a day. Just do it!

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