Have you ever noticed how much effort you may put into everyday activities? Opening a jar, you may find yourself squinting your eyes, tighten up the shoulders, wrap your hands around the jar and let out a grunt while twisting at its top and bottom. The same could be said about exercise and lifting weights. We sometimes contort our body in an unhealthy way, believing it will bring greater results. I have one question, did you remember to breathe?

I’ve often taken two steps on the stairs instead of one. I have rushed through a book reading words but not properly understanding it. I often find myself rushed to get to work or to get home when I had plenty of time available to me. Sometimes even when doing activities I love such as walking, running and hiking, a certain sense of urgency hits me… Breathe.

I’ve been taking inventory as of late of how I can treat more lightly and it’s not just physical but let’s take a look at a few items:

When walking up the stairs, I seemingly place a great deal of pressure on my front leg to pull the rest of my body up the stairs. Even with walking, I seem to somewhat stamp my foot. Even while hiking, I tend to really use my legs the wrong way. I’ve started moving my legs like I am riding a bicycle, letting them softly touch the ground while the other leg is in its loop and then softly touch the other foot to the ground. It works! For those runners out there, doesn’t that long slow run feel so much better than that aggressive, short run?

While in the car, I leave myself enough time that I do not need to rush. What happens when you drive? Some people may try to cut into your lane, maybe they have been sitting patiently waiting for traffic to clear to proceed from a stop sign, maybe they are a new or older driver who needs to build skills or their skills are deteriorating. Add these few minutes to your travel and “donate” these precious few minutes to other drivers. You can also use these precious few minutes to… Breathe!

Tread lightly on other people. The other day we were heading to a restaurant that I knew would be busy, I often see people speed up their pace when they see other people heading to the door as if they want to get ahead of them. I did something similar the other day, except, I opened the door and asked them to go ahead. What difference does a few minutes make? It gives us time to… Breathe J . It is easy to become impatient or angry at other people but you have everything to gain when you tread lightly.

Expand this to life in general and the world around you. The world is your home and it could use less clutter and more people taking care of it. It’s strange, I know but the other day I was thinking about how many cups we have I the cupboard. We may have 10 coffee cups, 10 ice tea glasses, 10 wine classes, 10 beer mugs, 5 sports bottles and a package of paper cups and we use a great deal of plastic bottles over our lifetime. Did you ever ask yourself…Why do we need so many containers? We are a civilization that needs a dish for every occasion, including paper and plastic ones we throw away. It seems to be we are just cluttering up our environment, not treading lightly.

I’m of the opinion that, like above, we need to take small, soft steps to tread lightly and as long as the concept starts to click in your mind, you will begin to shift that thinking to other aspects of your life. The world will be a better place and you can thank me for putting the bug in your mind 🙂