In singing lessons, I'm being taught to breathe all the way out before taking in a new breath, and this is also great for stress. The other day I was preparing the house for our women's circle meeting, baking banana muffins, sweeping the floor, setting up the teacups, and noticed time was ticking by and I hadn't had lunch yet. So of course I picked up the pace and got even more frantic.
Then I remembered I was going to lead a 15 minute centering exercise/mini-retreat to begin the circle, and that I should shift gears now! It was not automatic, but I did remember to breathe all the way out, before breathing in. Somehow, when we take little quick sips of air while we're buzzing around, it doesn't get empty enough to fill up again. So breathe out, push all the air out, then let the belly expand as you open your mouth. Voila!
If you sit and practice this for a even 2 minutes, you will feel the benefit,, as the swirling, dizzying busyness of life settles around you, and you step off the merry go round. You need to slow it right down. Maybe a few things on the 'to do' list won't get done, but you will be fresh and centered instead of fried and frazzled.
It's always up to you - or me. I can always choose the speed I'm running at. However, sometimes I need a little help. Lately, I have been getting help to relax from a wonderful reiki-reflexologist-therapist named Diana Claudi, who calls her business Connect With Calm. She does chakra balancing, therapeutic touch, chelation, alll kinds of therapies that make me feel absolutely calm, centered, and grounded again. Joy creeps back into my body, and I smile at my teenager's requests peacefully.
It feels better than a massage - I may make it a weekly treat.
I found a great website and social network at Pink, http://www.owningpink.ning.com/ which has some great articles about finding your mojo, accepting your light and dark, and many more of interest to women.
have a great stress free day\