There is an art to breathing. Remaining mindful in messy situations through the practice of breathing can stave off anxiety, fear and depression. If you find yourself tense or stressed, try practicing breathing to feel more peaceful and self-aware. When the body feels anxious it can produce short, shallow breaths that create more anxiety. Remembering to take deep breaths in stressful moments lets the body know that it has time to adapt and remain calm.
The challenge of slowing down your breathing is to remember you have it as an option. Once our body starts a “fight or flight” cycle of breathing, we tend to forget there are options we can exercise to help control our body’s response. Take inventory of how you are feeling and initiate some slower breaths. The Magnolia Journal’s article “Take a Moment to Breathe” explains “you can work on your breath no matter where you are or what you doing”, and lists several places to work on slowing your body down:
- Sitting at a red light
- In line at the grocery store
- Before booting up your work computer
- While waiting on coffee to brew
- Before boarding a flight
- While on hold during a call
- Before entering a work meeting
(Source: The Magnolia Journal, #15)
The good news is that breathing is natural. However, remembering to breathe slower is intentional. Once formed into a habit, breathing slower can make the challenges of life seem more manageable and help the body function at optimum capacity.
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