Breeeeeeathe Like You Mean It
One deep breath through your nose, down into your chest and out your mouth does more to calm you than a glass of red wine ever will.
(Wine, listen, I'm sorry. We're still BFFs, but I need other friends, too.)
If breathing deeply is so great, why do we overlook its power? It's right there, available for us any time we want to feel peaceful, healthy, full and optimistic. I know this and still I sometimes go days without remembering to gulp it in.
You don't have to pretzel into a yoga pose to breathe deeply. You don't have to meditate or close your eyes. You just have to remember to do it.
I've taken to writing it on my To-Do list. Don't laugh! I know that makes me sound Type-A, but as I scan the never-ending emails, tasks, and projects on my list, there it is: an invitation to center myself and find a moment of grace.
One deep breath is magical. For extra credit try this great breathing tip from Andrew Weil, M.D.:
- Place the tip of your tongue on the flesh right above your teeth.
- Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4.
- Hold for a count of 7.
- Keep your tongue there and blow out, as if through a strawfor a count of 8.
- Repeat 3 more times.
Here is he demonstrating it: Weil Breathing Video
I've found his technique calms me during stressful times, before big meetings or important conversations. The only challenge is remembering to do it. Put a Post-It on your steering wheel to remind yourself to breathe deeply while you drive. How's that for happy and efficient!?
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