Here’s the situation: you’re in a meeting or middle of a slew of work. You can’t step away from your desk or the meeting. You have to keep going, even though you’re super stressed. What do you do to try and control it?
My personal approach dates back to the single semester I took martial arts at BYU. At the end of each class, the teacher would have us kneel and meditate, focusing on our breathing. He’d tell us to inhale slowly and imagine that we were inhaling everything good around us. Then we’d exhale slowly and picture ourselves breathing out anything bad that was inside us.
I’ve used this ever since as my go-to panic button to help myself when things are going south and I can’t go for a walk or take a few minutes to play a video game or read a book. (Sometimes even when I can. In the middle of a flight when I feel like I’m just going to lose it, for example.)
Prayer works too, but I find to calm down and lower my heart rate and suppress that icky butterfly feeling in my stomach, that breathing technique works the best.
However, as I’ve been slogging my way through meetings and emails and work this week, trying to catch up with everything I missed (and prep for another trip next week, a second the week after that, and a third the week after that), I’ve found myself using it a bit more than I’d like. And I wondered if, perhaps, there might be better approaches out there. Not that mine doesn’t work, but you never know unless you ask.