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Breathing Your Way to Health

Women taking a deep breath in outdoors

Are the stresses of life constantly clutching at you? Do the pressures you are carrying feel too heavy? Do you wish there was a way you could create a little space for yourself so that you could step back from it all for a few minutes? If you answered “yes” to any (or all) of these questions, then read on for relief.

Today’s fast-paced world lacks a critical ingredient which your mind and body crave - moments of peace. However, as with any new and life-enhancing practice, it is important to decide, first, that it is worth the investment of your time. You can do this by realizing how important it is to begin to start managing your stress - instead of your stress continuing to manage you. If you are ready to call your life your own just take a nice, deep breath and ... bingo ... you have already started. The best way to reclaim your life and health is to begin by breathing with awareness. Five wonderful inhalations are what I use with my hypnosis clients. The basics for deep breathing are these:

  1. Assume a comfortable position. Try not to have any tight clothing restrict the rise and fall of your belly and chest.
  2. Inhale through either the mouth or nose; as you are doing this, allow the belly to rise, which in turn will let your chest expand (this is to accommodate the inflating of your lungs).
  3. After you have taken in as much air as feels comfortable, pause for a moment or two.
  4. Exhale (again either through the mouth or nose) and allow your belly to sink down, which is causing your diaphragm to curve back up and “help” the lungs to deflate. Make a gentle effort to let all the air empty from your lungs. The goal is eventually to have the exhalation be twice as long as the inhalation - with a pause before and after each and every inhale.

At first this may seem like quite a process, but it will become easier with each breath. Just close your eyes for a few minutes and let yourself get into the rhythm of your breath, as the air flows in (pause) and then out (pause), in and then out again. Imagine waves of peace and relaxation washing over your body as the new air enters and then as the old air exits. You can even add the thoughts; “In with relaxation," as you take your ‘in breath,' and “out with stress,” as you release and exhale.

Mastering this simple breathing technique is a HUGE first step. It is a portable, instantaneous way to quickly push away the grip that stress can sometimes get on you. Combined with the relaxation techniques and positive suggestions deep breathing becomes a powerful tool for combating the daily onslaught of life’s tensions and pressures.