First, change your breathing pattern. A stress or activity filled day can leave you breathing in a way that hyper-stimulates your autonomic nervous system. Slowing the breath down and breathing deeply from the abdomen will fix this problem in a jiffy. Place one hand on your lower abdomen (below the navel). Breathe into your hand by expanding your abdomen as you inhale. Relax and drop your ribcage – it shouldn’t be doing so much work and movement. Inhale for a count of four. Hold your inhalation for a count of four, then exhale generously for another count of four. Pause for a count of four. Repeat the cycle for up to five minutes. You’ll notice that in less than five minutes, you will already experience a drastic shift in the way you feel.
The second thing you can do is to drink some room temperature clean water. Filtered or mineral water is best, but if you don’t have access to it, then just drink tap water. Most of us spend our days in climate-controlled buildings that contain dry air. Though you may not be sweating, you are still losing a lot of the water in your body via evaporation, breathing and talking. Drinking coffee or alcohol is diuretic to the body and in the long run will take out more fluid than is imbibed. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can cause fatigue and irritability. Drink a good 8 ounces or more of water and notice how refreshed you feel. Best is if the water is not cold, as that can shock the body’s tissues and stagnate the qi.
Third, as you continue to hydrate and breathe deeply, you can use an acupoint that calms the body. This acupoint also removes energy-overload of the heart and lungs. For thousands of years the Chinese have benefitted from acupuncture. You can use acupressure just as well. The point to use is nicknamed “Sea of Tranquility” and is located on the center of your sternum. To find the point, place the four fingers of your hand together (excluding the thumb). Find the base of your sternum, and go up the 4 finger-widths from the bottom. This point is directly between the nipples of the male chest or young female chest – about halfway up the sternum’s length. Feel around with a knuckle or fingertip, until you find a sensitive area. That’s “Sea of Tranquility” or “Acupoint CV17.” Press and hold pressure on it with a knuckle or supported finger, with a slight downward angle. Apply for up to 5 minutes. As you breathe, feel your sternum sink inward and downward into your body, releasing all tension and stress. When you remove the pressure, do so slowly. Then, gently friction over the area to seal the acupoint.
These three methods are easy, free and require no special equipment. You can do them virtually anywhere, anytime. The more you use these three methods, the easier it will be to center yourself. This will then help you get the most out of your practice while removing harmful stress energy out of your body’s tissues and organs.