Tis the season

Tis the season of busy schedules, end of year benefits and for us in the optical world; a little extra stress. I have worked through anxiety and stress with the help of Pinterest, friends and family, and even a few professionals… but never have I found something more helpful than the method I’m going to share with you in this post. I don’t know if it has an actual name, but it helps me calm down after an angry patient, it helps me fall asleep and I know it can help you too!

It’s easy, you just inhale quietly for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, then exhale for 8 seconds. That’s it. You can repeat it as many times as necessary to slow your heart rate back to normal, and you can do it anywhere!

A quick google search reveals that this seems to be a well-known stress relief method, but I hadn’t heard of it until recently. Alternative medicine guru Andrew Weil, M.D. writes on his website, 

This breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it, but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently.
— Andrew Weil, M.D.

If you take a second to use this exercise before answering a confrontational patient, or before jumping into the next interaction, it will help to re-center yourself, clear your thoughts and hopefully service your patients even better!

Good luck this holiday season everyone!!