Our most important principle is also the easiest. From the movement we are born, we instinctively know how to take a breath. While it sounds trite, those breaths are literally life giving. Without them we die within minutes. And yet when fear and anxiety strike us, one of the first things that changes is our breathing. Without knowing it, we take short shallow breaths which can often make our fears feel even worse. Luckily one of the first and easiest things to do to bring order and calm back into your life is taking slow deep breaths.
Opting back in to the workforce will bring excitement and challenge into your life. Your own self critic may be the loudest voice you hear sometimes. You will have to face the unexpected and the unknown. You will make decisions without knowing all of the information you would like to. In each of these cases, remembering to take a deep breath can create the pivot point you need in order to think clearly about the things around you and draw on that experience and judgement you have worked so hard to build over these years.
Nelson Mandela said,
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave [person] is not…who does not feel afraid, but [she or] he who conquers that fear.”
The first step to conquering your fears is the easiest: just breathe.