Seven Minutes of Peace

It has been a little more than a week since I saw my therapist and I have been practicing my breathing exercises and doing my little meditations and I actually find myself looking forward to them.  It's like a little break from stress and it feels FaNtAsTiC!  Never one to withold that could help others, I figured I would share these things here so if anyone feels like they could use a little stress-relief they can indulge!
Breathing exercise 1, normal breath: Draw breath into the belly without letting the chest rise, and release.  This should feel like normal breathing, which is the point.  When we are stressed, have anxiety or even stress, we are more prone to breathe shallow, which you will note by the chest rising.  So the idea is to remind yourself how "normal" breathing feels so that you are able to redirect yourself back to normal breathing if you notice you are breathing shallow. 

Breathing exercise 2, calming breath: Take a deep breath that fills up the lower and upper lungs, noting how the belly and chest move slightly.  Hold this breath for 3 seconds and exhale slowly and evenly.  This type of breathing helps calm and soothe, stopping short, choppy, shallow breathing that typically accompanies anxiety/panic. 

The guided meditations are from and they have some as short as 5 minutes.  Here's a link to my favorite one, which is 7 minutes:  I recommend sitting in a quiet spot where you won't be interrupted.  Sometimes I do this or a shorter one while I'm waiting for my car to warm up before driving home from work, sometimes I do it after the kids are settled down for the night and my husband's reading.  You could do it right before or after your morning shower.  It immediately takes me to a calmer place.  I am usually almost falling asleep by the end but when I open my eyes I feel like I just got a warm hug, it's like being enveloped in what's been lacking for me for so long, peace.  I may try some longer ones, maybe on the weekend, but the idea of these meditations is that getting used to how that peaceful time feels will make you seek out more peace.  I do think this has been very effective for me.  I am consciously trying to let things go more because stress and worry feel so much worse and now I am able to see a little more clearly that I am the one creating a lot of that stuff unneccessarily, and I do have control over some of it. 
The other thing I have discovered is this new series at it is a documentary series about diabetes.  I don't have diabetes but there have been a few times when my blood sugars have tested high.  In fact, right before I lost the most weight I had my first high blood sugar result, and my doctor at the time told me one more high reading would be pre-diabetes.  That really scared me.  I saw my grandmother go through that and it looked so miserable.  Anyway, the series starts with a person who is living with Diabetes and has neuropathy and he is interviewing a bunch of doctors and people who've been touched by the disease.  Part of me didn't want to see it, the skeptic in me felt like maybe it was just fear-mongering or a big huge sales pitch, but there's this other part of me that has been really frustrated about how health care has become so protective of our feelings that doctors don't just come out and tell us the truth because they figure we already know or we are not going to follow through on their advice anyway.  When I went to the doctor in 2010, shortly before this blog started, he told me straight out that I was committing suicide by allowing myself to be this oveweight and to let my bloodwork look how it did.  My blood pressure was high, triglycerides were out of control, blood sugars high, good cholesterol was really low; he said from the numbers, I looked like someone he would be having to send for heart surgery in the next 10-15 years if I didn't take control of what I could.  That inspired me to bust my butt and get way healthier.  All of my numbers improved dramatically and I felt so good.  You know the rest of the story.  While my blood pressure and cholesterol have never crept back up to where they once were, they are always on the high end of normal.  But it was that doctor's brutal honesty (he did say it in a caring manner, not yelling or belittling me) made me wake up and change.  Now, whenever I go to a doctor they just coddle me, never broach the subject of my weight and it just feels that no one has the energy to try and inspire people to take control of their health.  So I watched the first part of the documentary.  You have to sign up, then they send you the links to the series, which are free.  I love a good documentary, so I was immediately sucked in.  It said that the majority of people will have diabetes or pre-diabetes or even insulin resistance at some point in their lives.  People who have diabetes are 80% more likely to have a heart attack than people without!!!!  I did not know that!  It is also highly linked to Alzheimers, so much so that some are now calling Alzheimers Type 3 diabetes, and even linked to a higher chance of getting cancer. So maybe some people don't think it's that big of a deal to have diabetes and take medicine and do the sugar readings, but just the fact that it can lead to much much worse stuff, I'm not really sure this is well-known information.  What a horrible disease!
It was so touching to see the narrator talk to a woman who lost her mom to diabetes.  This daughter was so frustrated that her mom couldn't change, would hide herself away in her bedroom with food.  The narrator explained it from his own understanding of how food has it's control over us and the fact that we feel weak to it makes us feel like failures.  He broke down there, and I was getting choked up a bit because it hit home.  And, why don't we talk about these things more in our society?  Why don't we have entire clinics for this, mental health counselors trained in this, in every city on every block?!  So many people have this mental and emotional addiction to food. 
So, it's safe to say that I am probably going to continue watching the series as more parts come out.  It has inspired me.  I want to know more.  I want to avoid getting it, which I know will mean being more careful with processed carbs, and ultimately, restriction to some extent.  I still have issues with that, it's human nature, but I think my therapy is helping even though it wasn't meant to help with that particular issue.  This diabetes is on my mental map now, especially now that I am 45.  The older we get, the higher the chance of having any of the stages of diabetes.  Now, I am definitely prone to worrying about my health in a very reactive and emotional way, but that is the broken little girl in me.  I would much rather not get sick but I have to realize that I'm the only one that can control that, at least as far as managing the things that lead to diabetes, like the intake of junk sugars and not exercising at all. 
I feel like this will all come together for me again.  Whenever I think about cleaning things up it makes me feel good, I think I just tend to overexaggerate the amount of effort it will take.  My anxiety is beginning to get healed a bit, my teeth are well on their way, now I need to turn my attention on the inner workings of my body.  Sometime before I die I'm going to get all of this stuff ironed out!  Let's hope its sooner than later!


  1. I love meditating! It's how I start my morning....Well after I jump on the scale!

    1. That's not a bad way to start the day! I'm not a fan of the scale but the mediatation is excellent!

  2. I learned how to meditate when I was a kid. All through my life, it's helped me deal with all kinds of situations. Hope it helps you in the short and long term :)

    1. Thanks Nikki. I wish I had started sooner, but it's never too late!


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