We forget to breathe when we get stressed.
We forget to breathe when we’re concentrating.
We forget to breathe when we’re angry.
How in the world can we forget to breathe when it’s one of the most important functions of staying alive?!
The fact is…we all do it.
Take a moment to have some awareness of your breath. Let’s do a quick exercise, that you can use throughout your day to calm yourself. This exercise is actually used by golfers and even snipers in the military to calm them themselves so that they have a steady hand when they’re taking aim. (Check out With Winning In Mind by Larry Bassham). I promise that it will be beneficial to you.
- Breathe in for 4 counts
- Hold the breath for 4 counts
- Breathe out for 4 counts
- Hold for 4 counts
- Repeat 3-4 times
Once you are finished, just relax and breathe naturally.
Use this exercise any time you get a little overwhelmed, nervous, stressed, or angry.
You can also use the breath in your movement and exercise. Sometimes, when we’re concentrating on complicated movements or lifting weights, we forget to breathe. It’s so important to use your breath. It can be especially helpful when executing a very challenging movement. Instead of straining or recruiting other muscles, contract the core, exhale hard, and maintain perfect form.
Big exhale on the effort.
Whatever the hard part is, use your exhale on that part of the movement.
Lastly, breathing and meditation are super powerful for keeping us centered. Take a listen to my podcast, Women Your Mother Warned You About, featuring Meryl Arnett. She explains how mediation retrains our brains to not get lost in thought and worry, but to observe and reflect on our thoughts. This leads to less conflict and anxiety and helps you to stay strong through times of stress and discomfort.
I know this all sounds silly and simple.
Try taking note this week on when you have neglected to breathe. In fact, try overexaggerating. If you are tired and don’t feel like working out, lean into the breath. If you are about to face a difficult meeting or conversation, focus on your breath rather than your thoughts. Insomnia? Try thinking only about your breath.
Sometimes I feel so hangry that I think I’m going to die. Hahaha…
The truth is that I could likely live a long time with no food.
How long would I last without breathing?
According to MedlinePlus, permanent brain damage can begin after only 4 minutes without oxygen. Death can occur as soon as 4-6minutes later.
So, imagine the red alerts that go off inside your body and mind when you stop breathing in moments of stress?
It’s impossible to perform at optimum strength or think clearly when we stop you stop breathing.
Filled with joyous excitement?