SELF-AWARENESS THROUGH BREATHING
Tim Johnson, author of The Success Books says when we become fearful or concerned we naturally contract and our breathing becomes higher in the chest and shallower. By taking a few deeper breaths, we naturally tell the body that it’s ok. In fact, it has been shown that if you exhale for longer than you inhale, it has a natural calming effect on the body and the mind. Here are some tips from the book.
One approach outlined in Ivan Tyrell’s book, Human Givens: a new approach to emotional health and clear thinking is breathe in to the count of seven and breathe out to the count of 11. If that is too much of a stretch, change the numbers to five and eight, for example. Try it right now, for at least five cycles, and notice what happens. It works best if you close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.Â So how was that? Did you try it? If not, take a couple of minutes to experience this. Did you find it easy to drop into your body and let your mind settle, or did you notice your mind running off on a story- about how silly this exercise is, for example?
The great thing about the breath is that it is something we have with us all the time, and by turning attention to breathing we can bring ourselves back into our body and re-centre. Whether this is when stuck in traffic, on the tube, or during a restless night’s sleep, simply reconnecting with the breath, and remembering to breathe slowly and deeply can be surprisingly helpful.
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