Mindfulness

Process for Dealing with Adversity

box breathing technique

We all face adversity and hard times on a day to day basis.  What I find interesting is that most people do not have a process to deal with it.  Maybe they have never been taught, or more than likely they have the attitude that this is life and you just have to deal with it.  It’s true that life is going to throw you curveballs but how do you best deal with it?

My favorite process for dealing with adversity is a technique I call box breathing.  It would fall into the category of meditation but is extremely simple and anyone can do it.  You breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, breathe out of your nose for 4 seconds (I actually prefer 6 seconds on the last exhale) and do nothing for 4 seconds.  Please see the image below as a reference:

box breathing technique

 

I like to do this technique three times consecutively and by the time I’m done, my negative thoughts have left my mind.  Someone I deeply care about sent a hurtful text about me to a good friend.  When my friend brought it to my attention, I acted like it was no big deal.  Immediately thereafter the words were ringing in my ears and it was hurtful and affected my mood.  I immediately started to do box breathing and by the 3rd time the thought had completely left my mind.  Inevitably the thought would come back throughout the day. I continued the box breathing technique until it had no effect on me.

My process is to use box breathing but that is not necessarily the “one size fits all” solution for everybody.  My hope is that everyone thinks about what their process looks like when you deal with adversity.  If we know it’s going to come, let’s be prepared to deal with negativity so it doesn’t affect your mood, energy and quality of life.  Give box breathing a shot and see if it can be a useful tool you can use to reset, center yourself and live a more positive life.

 

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