Take a deep breath and release your stress.

Before I moved to California I was working in a fast paced industry and city. Life at times was overwhelming with a sense of feeling defeated by the grind. This stress manifested in more places than just my work life. My closest relationships started to fall a part around me. I felt like I was all alone. It wasn’t until a close friend of mine told me she needed to have a ‘break’ from me because I was too negative to be around, that I realized what I was doing to myself and the people around me. It was there and then that I began my journey to self recovery. I was the only one that could get myself out of a self-pity state of mind because I allowed myself to get into this situation in the first place. The first thing I decided to do was to only focus my energy on the people and things in my life that give me a real sense of peace, love and happiness. Anyone that was a negative influence in my life, I distanced myself from immediately. This was the beginning of something more powerful than what I realized at that moment.

Now that I am through those rough times I can look back on them and truly say that I am grateful for those struggles. I learned a lot about myself and the people around me. Today I am a stronger and happier person for those experiences. Real friends and family stuck by me and were open and honest with me. The close friend I mentioned before, that needed a break, gave me something more than she will ever realize that day. It was my ‘ah ha’ moment. For that I will always be grateful. We remain extremely close friends today.

As you read this, perhaps you are starting to relive some tough times you’ve experience in your life and what you did to cope with the stress. Or maybe you are going through something stressful now wondering, how I was able to turn my situation around. It’s a simple concept really….our thoughts manifest our reality. If we focus our energy on negative thoughts that is what our reality becomes. If our thoughts become more positive our reality will shift to be more positive. Our minds can be our most powerful tool or obstacle in life. It’s how we choose to use our mind that will make the difference in our life experiences.
(For more on this topic I suggest you read Deepak Chopra’s book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence as he goes into great detail about how our mind can help us create a more fulfilling life. However there are many other books written on this subject such as The Secret, The Power of Now etc.)

In addition to having a positive attitude I started reading about the physical and mental benefits of meditation and breathing and how to incorporate all 3 for a more balanced life (in additional to exercise and eating clean). Today I am still on a life long journey of self recovery but instead I like to call it self discovery. I have made a goal to learn more about different breathing techniques and to continue meditation this year so that I can enhance clarity in my thoughts, reduce stress and improve my energy. Personally I am not the type of person just to believe something ‘because’. I need proof that there is real benefit – scientifically – before I will invest my time and energy. Below is a short video that demonstrates how breathing can change your life positively both physically and mentally from a more scientific perspective. I’ve also listed some of the resources I’ve used in my readings.