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Find Your Rhythm

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

“Rhythm is sound in motion. It is related to the pulse, the heartbeat, the way we breathe. It rises and falls. It takes us into ourselves; it takes us out of ourselves.”

~Edward Hirsch

As our brains develop, they are built around the sound and vibration of different rhythms. Some of these examples are the maternal heart rate of around 60 - 100 beats per minute, maternal respirations of 12 - 16 breaths per minute and the rhythm of the mothers movement. To the developing brain, rhythm equals balance.

As we go through life, there are stress triggers that throw us out of balance. It could be lack of sleep, improper nutrition, lack of exercise, over working or conflicts. When our body gets out of balance, it stimulates the stress cycle and we become physically and emotionally stressed. When we are stressed we tend to do things like eat poorly, lose sleep, drink alcohol and reduce activity. Like a circle, this causes more imbalance and more stress.

To restore balance to the body and mind, we need to practice a rhythm. This is why things like walking, swimming, music, dancing, intentional breathing and painting all make us feel so much better. It’s the rhythm of these activities that restore our brain to a place of balance. Then our brain sends a signal to the body to relax. Since stress triggers happen everyday, rhythmic activities should be practiced daily.

Having a career where I am focused on taking care of others, I often forget to take care of myself. Running, yoga and swimming are the rhythmic activities that leave me feeling the best. To make sure I keep a regular practice, I try to add them to my schedule at the beginning of every week. When I miss them I can tell. I’m left with less to give to others. I usually end up tired and reactive. I’m definitely less productive and not as much fun.

My practice this week is to schedule 2 rhythmic activities that feel good and commit to at least five minutes every day to practice. This practice feels like putting my oxygen on first in the plane. Hopefully it will set me up to be more productive and efficient in all my other things.

Where can you carve out 5 minutes from an area that drains you so you can start a practice that leaves you feeling restored?

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