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Domini Anne

Take Five

Published 3 months ago • 3 min read

Heads up! If you're short on time, skip to the bottom of this email for a variety of fantastic freebies

It took me years to learn to control my temper.

As soon as a conversation became heated, my emotions would rapidly rise, cresting in a torrential wave of expression that left nothing but hurt feelings and destroyed relationships in its aftermath. My first attempts at breaking this cycle usually involved striding out the door with minimal explanation and going for a long run - eventually returning in a calmer state, usually to some confusion with the folks I’d left behind. Eventually, after I had adopted a mediation practice, I learned to separate my “self” from the situation at hand, and taking a run was replaced by taking a breath. A more discreet means to the same end.

In the relentless pace of modern life, “taking five” has become more than a mere pause; it’s a strategic retreat, a conscious decision to step away from our current environment or mental state to gain clarity and perspective. This concept isn’t about a temporary surrender but a tactical move to recalibrate our approach to life’s challenges. Sometimes, the best way to tackle a problem isn’t to push through it but to momentarily step back.

What makes this action so powerful ?When we physically remove ourselves from a stressful environment, whether it’s stepping out for a run in the middle of an argument or whisking ourselves away on a vacation, we’re not just changing locations; we’re giving our brains a much-needed respite. This change in scenery allows us to decompress and see things from a new vantage point. A run transforms the energy of conflict into something more manageable, and a vacation can turn work stress into a distant memory, albeit temporarily.

But what about when we can’t physically change our location? This is where the power of somatic practices like meditation, freeform stretching, or high-intensity workouts comes into play. Here, the journey is inward. We engage in a silent dialogue with our bodies and minds, focusing on breath and movement to recalibrate our mental state. Whether it’s the tranquility of meditation or the adrenaline rush of a workout, these practices offer a mental reset akin to the one achieved through changing our physical surroundings. They enable us to find stillness in movement and peace in exertion.

Both pathways - the external shift of a run or vacation and the internal journey into the body - have a neurological impact. They stimulate different parts of the brain, fostering creativity, enhancing cognitive function, and boosting overall mental health. They are different routes to the same destination: mental clarity and rejuvenation. And while we can’t always “get up and go”, our body remains as constant resource for retreat and recalibration.

So this week I’ve put together a short list of resources for you to quickly change your headspace, offering both immediate and lasting benefits.


Breathing techniques for instant relief:

• Box Breathing: Inhale for four counts, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold again for four. This simple practice is a tried and true technique to regulate your nervous system

• Rapid Breath Sequence: Take a series of rapid, deep breaths, followed by a deep inhale, holding as long as possible, then exhaling and holding the breath out. Repeat the holds two to four times. Do up to three rounds for profound mental shifts.

Unwind while you Unplug:

• If you’re looking to reset and release tension while engaging in something as routine as watching TV, consider multitasking with a theraband. This versatile tool can transform your couch time into a productive session of gentle stretches and body awareness. I’ve created a 5-minute video to guide you through this process, showcasing how to use a theraband to connect your legs to your abdominal muscles, creating a playful environment for your body to stretch and unwind

video preview

Moreover, I’m excited to share some incredible offerings from students in the Proprio-Synthesis program:

Orielle Caldwell’sAnchor Your Breath : Discover the transformative power of breath in this free online workshop series. Learn to master breathing mechanics, explore breath meditation for internal awareness, and harness your breath to directly influence your nervous system for profound personal change.

Michelle Naiyelli Bouvier’s ALIGN: Evolutions in Embodied Practice”: Dive into the groundbreaking science of how embodiment (movement + breath + mindfulness) can support your overall well-being. Michelle offers simple tools to help you feel centered, clear, and purposeful in your daily life. And the best part? It’s a GIFT to everyone on this list! Register HERE for FREE for the ALIGN Event, happening virtually (Feb 21-24 / March 20-23), and tell her I sent you.

In conclusion, whether you’re physically stepping away from a situation or mentally retreating into your inner world, you’re embarking on a journey towards mental clarity. These practices, whether they take you out into the world or deep within yourself, are not mere escapes; they are deliberate strategies for regaining balance and perspective. They remind us that in the face of life’s complexities, taking a step back can often be the most effective way to move forward.

Domini Anne

P.S - Pass it on: Know someone who could use a mental pit stop? Go ahead and forward this email. It’s like giving a mini-vacation for the brain, no packing required.

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©Domini Anne 2024 - because, of course.

Domini Anne

• I help people fully inhabit their bodies and guide teachers to do the same • Get access to exclusive videos, articles and teachings from Domini Anne

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