Intellectually, you know that keeping your calm and your balance during conflict will serve you and the others involved better. But it’s hard to pull off in the midst of tension. Here’s a one-minute deep breathing exercise that’ll help.
You can do this classic deep breathing exercise virtually anywhere, without drawing attention to yourself. It’s quick, it’s easy to remember, and it can help you maintain your calm.
- Find an object nearby that has four corners – a box, your computer screen, a window, etc. In the unlikely event you don’t have something nearby, visualize a window frame in your mind.
- Focus on the upper left-hand corner and inhale deeply for a count of four. Your belly should expand, not your chest.
- Shift your gaze to the upper right-hand corner and hold your breath for a count of four.
- Move your gaze to the lower right-hand corner and exhale for a count of four.
- Finally, shift your attention to the lower left-hand corner. Say to yourself, Relax, and smile.
- Repeat if needed.
Cultivating a non-anxious presence during difficult conversations
One of the greatest gifts good mediators bring to the conflict resolution table is a non-anxious presence, an inner calm in the face of difficulty. And it’s one of those tools in the mediator’s toolkit that you can steal for yourself.Read the article