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The week where I blew bubbles...

Week 30: Monday 2nd August - Sunday 8th August 2021

This week I have mainly been blowing bubbles.

I've been a bit stressed recently, and the more I think about it, the more I suspect that my illness last week was caused by that stress. I'm unsure which came first - maybe it was being unwell that allowed my stress a chance to surface. Or perhaps it was the underlying stress which eventually caused me to get ill. Either way, stress and illness definitely don't go well together - neither helps the other!

Appreciating the small things in life

When I'm stressed, anxious or worried, I find one of the things that helps me the most, is reconnecting with, and seeing the beauty in the simplest of things in life - things such as appreciating the natural world around us, feeding the ducks or blowing bubbles...!

So after Thursday's PT session I head down to the local nature reserve - as I often do after gym sessions - to visit the ducks. This time though, I am armed not only with duck food, but also with a tube of bubbles for blowing.

A lady - who is not me - blowing bubbles (photo by Gianandrea Villa / Unsplash)

The beauty of blowing bubbles

Bubbles are beautiful.

They're so fragile, yet perfectly formed. They glisten translucently with all of the colours of the rainbow. They're practically weightless, floating, gliding and sliding around effortlessly in the sky, before eventually 'popping' into nothingness.

There is so much you can do with bubbles.

You can blow really quickly and forcefully to create swathes of little bubbles. Or you can blow slowly and carefully to create just one or two really big bubbles. Both techniques are fun, so I alternate between the two.

The emotional rollercoaster of blowing bubbles

Blowing bubbles also brings up so many different emotions. There's the feeling of excitement when you manage to create a really big, over-sized and wobbly bubble. And then there's the disappointment which follows, when the over-sized and wobbly bubble has difficulty taking flight, so instead slowly thuds to the floor and dies. There's the sense of awe when some bubbles seem to just keep going forever, seemingly unstoppable and unpoppable, as they float and swirl continuously in the air.

There's always that one dare-devil bubble too. The bubble that just keeps floating higher and higher, clearly wanting to go on a big adventure. You keep following it with your gaze, until it's no longer perceptible to the human eye. No-one will ever know how long it lasted. Whether it kept adventuring forever, or whether it got popped a few moments after it faded from sight.

Stress busting benefits of blowing bubbles

I'm not going mad. Blowing bubbles is an actual, real thing for dealing with stress and anxiety - I found evidence on the Internet to say so. Here are a few of the ways that blowing bubbles can help with stress and anxiety.

1. Deep and controlled breathing

Blowing bubbles requires us to breathe in a slow and controlled manner. We have to take deep belly breaths, followed by slow, controlled exhales, where we push air through pursed lips. The pursing of our lips creates tension which slows our breathing and helps the airways to stay more open. This slow, deep breathing also helps to activate our parasympathetic nervous system - and when this system is active, we find ourselves in a restful state, with relaxed muscles, a slower heart rate, and an overall sense of clarity and calmness within us.

2. Reconnecting with our inner child & grounding ourselves in the present moment

Blowing bubbles helps us to remember a more simple and stress-free time in our lives. A time when there was always 'a grown-up'  to take care of us and keep us safe. A time when we had no responsibilities. A time when our mind was always in the present moment, concentrating on playing and enjoying ourselves, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future.

3. Using mental imagery to gain perspective on our worries

When blowing bubbles we can visualise our worries as being on those bubbles. As the bubbles float away through the air we can imagine that it is our worries floating away and eventually 'popping' into non-existence. Although this doesn't actually make the real-life source of our anxiety disappear, it does help us to let go, to mentally free ourselves from being controlled by our thoughts and feelings, and perhaps to stop trying to control or worry about things that maybe we have no control over anyway.  

Further Info:

Here are a few useful links for more information on the benefits of blowing bubbles:

Bubble fun for adults.

Blow anxiety away on a bubble.

The health benefits of blowing bubbles.

My intention for today - and for the rest of this week - is to relax and blow bubbles, appreciating their simple beauty, whilst symbolically blowing all of my stress and worries away.

Thank you so much for reading this post!

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This week I have been eating...

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk Two cups of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: Two poached eggs, with spinach, on one piece of brown buttered toast.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of milk. A banana.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's Chilli, ginger and honey turkey chow mein.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk One cup of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: Two poached eggs, with spinach, on one piece of brown buttered toast.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of milk. A banana.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's butter bean bake with peppers and tapenade.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk One cup of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: Two poached eggs on one piece of brown buttered toast.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of milk. A banana.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's butter bean bake with peppers and tapenade.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk One cup of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: Two poached eggs on one piece of brown buttered toast.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of milk. A banana.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's soy-glazed beef mince bowl with carrot rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk One cup of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: Two poached eggs, with spinach and avocado, on one piece of sourdough buttered toast.

Snack: Three cups of tea, each with a dash of milk. A banana.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's soy-glazed beef mince bowl with carrot rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk One cup of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: M&S falafels with houmous dip. M&S chicken with satay dip.

Snack: None today.

Dinner: Chicken breast cooked in lemon and pepper, with new potatoes, brocolli, carrots and peas. Strawberries with crème fraîche.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk One cup of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: Two poached eggs, with spinach on one piece of sourdough buttered toast.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of milk. A banana. A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's tandoori salmon with mixed vegetables.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Up next - my weight loss journey week 31

My Weight Loss Journey - the week where I decided to go with the flow
These dreams were trying to tell me something. I’m sure. Or perhaps I’m going mad. After all, I do like to talk to ducks; I spend hours carefully crafting pictures out of...

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