Presenting the Exhale

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.

 

Stay Sharp and Calm

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.

Calming Down vs. Revving Up

Aside

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.

String O’ Pearls

You can do this any time you have a little floor space and time, like during a commercial break while watching TV or in the morning before you hop in the shower.

Position: Lying on back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides (hands palms down)

Think of your spine as a string of pearls.

Simple exercise: Lift your hips up into the air as high as you can, supporting yourself with your feet and hands, and slowly bring your spine back to the floor, starting at the top and articulating each vertebrae down like a string of pearls. Breath throughout.

Benefits: Eases and prevents back pain

Have fun, get creative, and share your ideas . . .

Bed Breathing

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.

Equipment: pillow

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 . . .