Breathe small

With the world news these past few months and my own personal fears surfacing, I noticed I was holding my breath. Holding the breath is like “waiting” in life or for something to pass. It’s like saying, “I’ll exhale when..”

When fear, anger or grief arises, we tend to hold the breath. But holding the breath creates resistance in the body and life. During stress or even illness, we naturally want to contract, to “hold” something in effort to protect it and make sure we will be safe. But it’s the opposite.

Letting the breath flow is great for your cells and bloodstream. It relaxes the chest and heart, keeping you anchored in the present moment. Consciously inhaling and exhaling the breath will help you feel emotionally and mentally stable. Take note throughout your day. Notice when you’re holding your breath and let it go. Pretend that the only thing you have to do today is to remind yourself to inhale and exhale.

Here’s a simple yogic breathing technique (pranayama) that helps:
With mouth closed, inhale through the nose for four counts, hold the breath, then exhale out the nose for four and pause. Repeat this cycle for at least three minutes. Throughout the day, if you notice you’re holding your breath, come to this simple inhalation and exhalation with equal parts breath.
“Loving Who You Are, A Self-Care Guide to Nurture Your Body, Spirit, Mind,” has simple techniques for anxiety and fear that you can do NOW, like this breathing technique. Click here to purchase the book:
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