Sometimes it helps to shake things up. When you want to get a little crazy with your breathing, try focusing on the exhale.
Simple Exercise: Breath and pay attention to the pattern of your breath, consciously focusing on its natural flow – in/out, in/out, in/out. Now reverse, switching your focus to the exhale. Breathe out/breathe in, out/in, out/in. Continue focusing on the out breath for a few minutes.
It’s like changing the accent an a word. For example, look at the word present.
pre-SENT: Allow me to pre-SENT you a new way to focus.
PRES-ent: Give yourself a PRE-sent by breathing.
Breath work improves concentration and mental clarity by sending oxygen to the brain. Focusing on the breath also clears away the mental chatter that gets in the way of concentration and mental clarity.
Some forms of extreme anxiety can cause mental upsets, making it impossible to stop obsessing and furthering mental distress.
Focused breathing diverts the mind’s attention to the body and breath. By focusing on breathing patterns, the body can return to its parasympathetic (calm) state, lowering anxiety and restoring clarity.
You can do this simple stress reliever almost any time, anywhere. I like to use this technique when I’m stuck in traffic.
Simple Exercise: Take a deep inhale, and exhale. Again, take a deep inhale and as you exhale say, “Ahhhhhhhh!”
According to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study
. . . laughing raises energy expenditure and increases heart rate 10 percent to 20 percent. Ten to 15 minutes of laughter could increase energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day, which could translate into about four pounds a year.
If your body constantly stays in survival mode (i.e. elevated stress), this will cause your systems to not work properly. Symptoms of stress include, fatigue, inability to concentrate, poor circulation (i.e. cold hands in a warm room), anxiety, panic attack, high blood pressure, disturbed digestive functions (i.e. indigestion, constipation, weight gain — yikes!) and may lead to other breakdowns in the body.
Just a few reasons why you may want to choose a breathing break over a coffee break.
While trying to get up in the morning, wake up on the right side of the bed by focusing on your breathing and grounding your body.
The firmer, the better!
Position: Lying on back with pillow vertically aligned with your spine (head resting on pillow) and arms out to your side. Clear away spouse or cat.
Simple exercise: Breathe in (1) -2 -3 -4, hold (1) -2, breathe out (1) -2 -3 -4. Repeat sequence for one minute.
Benefits: Wake up calm, centered, and energized.
Have fun, get creative, and share your ideas . . .