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DAVIDSON: To Have or Not to Have Breathing Space

The following article, DAVIDSON: To Have or Not to Have Breathing Space, was first published on Flag And Cross.

The heavens are populated by galaxies, each with untold numbers of stars and planets, all created by God. Here on Earth, we need to solemnly approach our days. If it isn’t already the case, the critical measure of successful living is not how much money you’re making, the size of your home, or the number of friends you have. It is how much breathing space you have in your life.

Breathing space, as I define it in my book, Breathing Space®: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society, is the ability to control your life amidst an array of tasks and activities competing for your attention. Breathing space is:

* the ability to experience a sense of calm and relaxation despite your surroundings.
* knowing that you run your life and not that your life runs you.
* having the room to be, explore, or simply do nothing.

Fewer and fewer people truly have any sense of breathing space in their lives. Leisure time, if they manage to eke out any at all, is forced in between periods of frenzied activity, thus deflating the quality and nature of whatever leisure time one does experience.

Collectively as a society, and individually, we all need breathing space on a periodic basis to ensure that we have the energy, creativity, and resolve to meet the challenges we face and greater ones forthcoming.

Why Do We Feel The Way We Do?

It’s no accident that virtually every working man and woman in society today often feels pressed for time. Too many individuals do not recognize the big picture of our frenzied existence and blame themselves for not being effective time managers. They believe that if they could just get “caught up,” once and for all, everything would be okay.

Rather than attempting to race with the clock and battling an ever-growing to-do list, visualization is an alternative way to approach each day. Visualization, also called imaging, is a simple process that involves conjuring a mental image of something that conveys happiness, warmth, or peaceful feelings for you. For example, you might remember a meadow or farm from your childhood, a waterfall, a picnic site, a scene from a movie, a favorite cousin, or a lover.

By focusing on the image for even a minute, you can lower your pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure. If you only have a few minutes alone, visualization could be your cup of tea. Thereafter, visualize how you’d like your day to proceed, what you seek to accomplish, and how you will feel at the end of the day.

You are Already a Master

You already engage in visualization all the time. A primary benefit of visualization is the minimal time investment required for a good return. Visualizing aspects of your work and life helps to improve your disposition and increases your probability of successfully solving problems.

Some people suggest closing your eyes and placing your hand on your chest, cheek, or forehead while visualizing a pleasant scene in order to connect your body with the image that you have conjured. Regardless, visualization works well because your brain can recall anything that it has ever experienced.

The examples and suggestions below are designed steer your focus on positive, pleasant, stress reducing scenes:

Visualizing a Desired Outcome – Visualization can help you sail more easily through things that have not yet happened. For example, basketball players attempting to improve their free throw percentage find that by visualizing themselves stepping up to the line and draining the shot, over and over, their actual foul shot percentage can increase in game situations.

Visualize as a Substitute for Practice – Many Olympic performers visualize themselves going through their routines, be it speed skating, gymnastics, or throwing the javelin, and actually improve their performance once they step into the competitive arena.

Visualize Success at Something You Dread – If you fear making presentations or confronting your boss, visualizing yourself successfully handling the situation increases your probability of success. You can write a short statement about your visualization, or a whole article about what you did and how it worked. In this respect, you “live into your visualization.”

A Divine Tool For Everyone

The good news about visualization is that it’s a tool that everyone can put to use, with not much effort, for a pretty decent return. Such a deal!

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