Monday, August 13, 2012

The Power of Breathing

During a crisis, it’s not uncommon for your breathing to change, in order to help you to manage the stress of your experience. At times, your breathing may become rapid, bringing oxygen into your system to enable you to respond quickly to further danger. But this very same rapid breathing may also cause you to feel anxious, panicky and very uncomfortable.

So, what can you do? Let me share a great technique that will help you take control of your breathing so that it once again becomes a positive, rather than a negative, to your physical and emotional well-being.

First, take the phone off the hook and turn off the sound on your cell phone. Sit, or lie down, and make yourself comfortable. Close your eyes and become aware of your breathing. For the moment, don’t try to change it, just become aware of, and focus on, your breathing. Some thoughts may come into your mind and if they do, just chase them away, continuing to concentrate only on your breathing. Notice each time you inhale and each time you exhale. With each exhalation, think the word, “relax.”

Next, take a slow deep breath through your nose, hold it for a few seconds and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Do this three times. You’ll find yourself becoming more relaxed with each breath you take.

There’s a reason why people, from athletes to soon-to-be-moms, are encouraged to become aware of their breathing and to build a repertoire of breathing techniques. Learning to control your breathing can become a powerful physical and emotional force that will enable you to cope more effectively with adversity.

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