Remember to Breathe

Sep 6, 2019

Remember to breathe.⁠

It’s true that we’re technically breathing all the time — our body takes care of that for us. But when you learn to actually focus on your breath and use it consciously, you’ll find it’s an incredibly powerful tool that can transform how you experience the world.⁠

My mentor Gay Hendricks shared with me a quote from one of his mentors, Fritz Perls: “Fear is excitement without the breath.” What he means is that fear and excitement are actually just different levels of the same feeling, and fear can be transformed into excitement if we can catch ourselves in the moment we begin to panic and focus on breathing deeply and letting that energy move through our body. It’s when we try to stifle our feelings by holding our breath that we find ourselves paralyzed by panic and fear.

Next time you find yourself overwhelmed by stress or fear, try taking a few minutes to just breathe. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold that breath for 7 seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds (experiment to find the sequence that works for you, just make sure you exhale longer than you inhale). Do that 3 more times and you’ll be amazed at how much more centered and calm you feel!⁠⠀

[Photo credit: Daniel Johnson]


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