Oh, the Good Ol’ Days
Do you remember the days when kids were allowed to have fun and playgrounds had merry-go-rounds (at least that’s what we called them)? I have fond memories of running round and round and round as fast as I could, then jumping on and holding on for dear life as the wind rushed through my hair. Of course, if I let go the ride was over. Do you ever feel like that in adult life? Where the world is spinning round and round and one misstep will send you sliding off into the dirt?
You Gotta Love Physics
If you experienced the joys of the merry-go-round as a child, you may have found that the secret to staying on the merry-go-round was to get to the center. Thanks to some cool law of physics, you could sit or stand in the middle and stay safely on the toy, even if you weren’t holding on to anything. It was awesome, right? Those on the edge, where the centrifugal force was greatest, were the ones who risked falling off.
You Can Find the Center
Most people have the experience at some point in their lives of feeling like they are back on the merry-go-round and just trying to hang on. You may have many things going on at once that push you around for a spin. Career (push). Family (push). Social obligations (push). Personal goals (push). Soon you are spinning faster than you would like and trying to hold on.
The good news is that you can find the center and make it much easier to enjoy the ride. Everyone has their own center. There are many ways you can get to yours, but I’m going to share just two.
First, Remember to Breathe. It’s funny how we can take what is normally an automatic bodily function and somehow forget to do it right (or sometimes entirely). But that is what often happens when we get in stressful situations. Without getting into scientific details, that is a bad thing. It impacts our ability to focus and perform mentally, emotionally and physically. To correct that, try this one simple technique so you can find greater focus and calm.
Breathe in deeply (with the diaphragm – let that belly puff out like a balloon) for a slow count of 7
Hold the breath, experiencing the feeling of fullness, for a count of 2-3
Breathe back out slowly, for a count of 7
Completely empty your lungs and hold that emptiness for a count of 2
Repeat 2-3 times.
How does that feel?
Second, Live by Your Values. Much tension in life comes when we don’t live according to our core values. When you do live by your core values it becomes much easier to accept whatever situations or consequences may come. So, do you know your core values? Take the time to write them down and honestly examine whether you are living in harmony with them. Make a list of your ten most important values, then rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 as to how closely you are living them (1 being not so much and 5 being very much in harmony). Yes, this can be a difficult exercise, but very worth it. You’ll find that that more you can move those to a 4 or 5 the better able you are do deal with conflict and adversity. The merry-go-round may spin, but you’ll be safely at the center.
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Have an awesome day!