The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Why Finding Dory Might Leave U Stressed Out (& Two Tips 2 Calm Down)

So I think I’ve written about my Spire device here before but just to recap, Spire is this gorgeous and amazing little device that you clip onto your clothing that monitors your breathing throughout the day. It has it’s own app and that app is what tells you whether you’re tense, calm or focused and believe me, practically everyone in my family has one and we’re all amazed by the data and what we’re learning about ourselves. I have actually found that in using Spire consistently, I’ve been able to increase my moments of calm and decrease my tense moments over time which, for someone like me who previously suffered a panic attack, is pretty darn amazing. All the meditation and yoga I’ve been doing likely hasen’t hurt but being more aware of my breathing and how I’m acting (or reacting) has truly been the biggest factor to my increased zen state.

And so, we went to see Finding Dory. My husband, step-daughter and I all have Spires and we all wore them when we went to the movie. I don’t know about you, but I always think of the movies as a place to go and relax and to escape from reality as you lose yourself in the onscreen fiction. Well, you would think that an animated film about a fish and her friends would be the perfect way to wind down over the weekend right? Not so! Our Spires were buzzing throughout the whole movie and all of us thought “Oh, we must be really focused.” or “Oh, we must really be calm and relaxed.” But nope. We were tense people! We got out of the theater and looked at our apps and saw prolonged moments where our breathing was tense! Why? Well, I personally thought Finding Dory was a good movie but I guess we were a little more invested in whether or not Dory would find her parents than we thought! It’s all good but being tense actually isn’t good for your health so what can you do when you find yourself getting tense?

Here’s my top two tips for calming down:

  1. Take long deep breaths. You don’t need a lot of them but slowly breathing in (for let’s say a count of five or six) and slowly breathing out almost immediately starts to calm your body and brain down. Should you have to practice such breathing during a children’s movie? I’ll let you make that judgment on your own but in any situation, deep breathing is an easy and quick way to find your center.
  2. Become aware. Become aware of where you are, how you’re feeling and what’s going on in and around you. Feel the chair under your butt and your feet on the ground. Become aware of the popcorn smells around you and the colors on the screen. So often we go through life almost oblivious to the world and our place in it but practicing this present moment awareness is another simple but extremely powerful tool to get you out of your head and out of your thoughts.

That’s it. It’s that simple. Deep breathing and awareness and you’re on the road to more moments of calm and a less stressful existence. I will end this story by letting you know that my husband and I also went to see the movie The Shallows where Blake Lively gets attacked by a great white shark and we were both less tense in this movie than Finding Dory. I’ll let you come up with your own opinion of that!

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