Pause. Relax. Breathe. Feel.

The past few weeks have been a challenge for me mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I feel bogged down by so many stressors within and around me. I’ve been trying my best to sit, observe, and acknowledge them but the stressor I find hardest to mindfully be with is myself. I know most of this anxiety and overthinking stems from my need to control and to fix things now. Even during sleep, my mind goes haywire trying to resolve and deal with all of the pressure I’m going through. As a result, I wake up so tired and unsettled from having an overwhelming fusion of dreams of hopes and fears.

Today was another morning like that. I woke up sad and defeated because I couldn’t (or didn’t) do anything about these pressures. I’m fully aware that there is a time to address each of them and I have assigned dates when I should deal with each of them already. However, sometimes, my controlling mind thinks it’s not enough. There’s not enough time. Fix it now.

I decided to lay in bed for a few minutes just to feel these anxieties and let them wash over and away from me. And just as I was feeling calmer, an email from Ashley Turner’s newsletter arrives bearing the title, “Stress Relief Meditation.” She talks about how breathing deep is the key to relieving stress, fear, and anxiety.

Breath is the basis of the mind-body connection. 

– Ashley Turner

In the email, she shares a link to her meditation video where she breaks down the four parts of the breath – in-breath, pause, out-breath, pause. She discusses how breath extension can help ease the mind and body and how breath retention can stir up discomfort or agitation, giving you the opportunity to practice sitting with it with equanimity. After a few rounds of breathing meditation, take a few moments to pause, relax, breathe, and feel.

I just tried it myself, introducing a new way to deal with my anxieties, and it helped. I feel lighter and more spacious now – in my heart and mind. I am grateful for these random and serendipitous extensions of help.

Although these are things I already “know,” being reminded of how and when to use them is invaluable during times of overwhelming stress and anxiety.


I’m sharing this now to anyone who may be needing it just as I needed it this morning.


Pause. Relax. Breathe. Feel.

Ashley Turner’s Yoga Psychology class during the Asia Yoga Conference 2017.

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