Breath Your Stress Away

Posted by Cassandra     Category: Be Happy Now

Frustrated by Game 100res smaller Breath Your Stress Away

Certain memories stay with us, as clearly as the day they happened. I can vividly recall hearing my then 8 year old son grunting and groaning in frustration from the other room where he was playing Mario Brothers on his Nintendo set. When I went in to check on him, he bemoaned the fact that it had been over a half hour, and he could not defeat the level he was on so he could advance and save the princess.

Since I had never played this game, I had no idea what he needed to do to move on, and trying to figure it out so I could show him would take too much time. But, being the mom, I had to come up with something. So I went with the basics. His frustration showed in his words, tone and posture. That is where I started.

“Okay, put the controller down and stand up,” I told him. I got a skeptical look in return, but pressed on. “I want you to take a deep breath, hold it for a count of three and let it out slowly.”

Well, this young man half my size explained as politely as he could in a most annoyed tone, “I asked you for advice! I need to get to the next level. I don't need to breathe. I need to know how to get past that blast of fire.”

As I suppressed a grin, I asked him to humor me and go with it. After all, what did he have to lose? “Fine,” he replied with an exasperated sigh.

I had him take a few deep breaths, shake and wiggle around for about 30 seconds, rotate his neck and scrunch his shoulders about 10 times, then take 5 more deep breaths. I guess I wouldn't have remembered this so well if he didn't sit back down and pass that level within 15 seconds. His success felt great, to both of us.

There are certain things you can do to nourish your physical body and other things you can do to feed your spirit, the essence and energy that is your soul. Breathing is one that will benefit you in both ways. And it's importance is not as recognized as it should be.

The benefits of breathing are vast. Breathing is designed to remove to 70% of the toxins from your body. It also releases tension, strengthens the immune system, alleviates pain, aids in digestion, calms your mind, brings focus and clarity to your thinking, strengthens the lungs, helps with weight loss, improves the quality of your blood and so much more. But breathing in a certain way will offer you optimum results.


child sleeping 120 res smaller 150x150 Breath Your Stress Away

When we are kids, we instinctively breathe deeply, filling our abdomen first and then our lungs. When a child sleeps, you can see their stomach rise and fall. As we get older, we fill our chest and not our abdomen. Start placing your attention on your breathing and become aware of how you breath. When you notice you are not taking full, deep breaths, make a point to do so. Check yourself often until this becomes a habit.

One of the best reasons to relearn how to breath in a way that will maximize it's advantageous effects is to reduce stress. I do not know many people who like stress, but research has made us aware that stress is a killer and should be avoided at all costs. Why not the cheap, natural way? When things begin to feel a bit overwhelming, you should go some place quiet (even if your only option is the bathroom), close your eyes, shrug your shoulders a couple of times, then spend 2 to 3 minutes, taking deep, steady breaths. Push away all thoughts. They will be there when you open your eyes, but for now, there is nothing but you and this amazing gift of oxygen that fills you with life. Nothing but you and your connection to the universe with the air you are taking in and releasing serving as your conduit.

It is also a good idea to take short periods of time, 5 to 10 minutes a day, to focus on breathing deep to cleanse and enrich your body. Breathe deeply through the nose to a count of three, hold for one and exhale for four. Place your hand on your belly, and make sure it rises before your lungs do. Visualization during this process can intensify your experience. While you are bringing the oxygen into your system, imagine the air filled with a shimmering, golden light that is cleaning and purifying every cell in your body. Then imagine all of your cells getting stronger when you release any toxins as you exhale. This practice will enhance many aspects of your life, leading you to a richer and fuller life.



Burst breathing is another exercise that can improve your life. Burst breathing is when you take 4 quick, deep breaths in through the nose, then release 4 quick bursts of breath out through the mouth. This can be repeated for one to five minutes. When you take a short 5 minute walk in the morning and do your burst breathing, you get your body off to a wonderful start. You draw wonderfully fresh oxygen into your lungs and brain, giving you energy, clarity and focus. If you start getting the afternoon blahs, doing this exercise for just one minute will make you more alert and ready to go again.

One of the reasons meditation is so incredibly good for you is that you tend to incorporate proper breathing techniques into your practice. Meditation is a subject to it's own and a very important one. For now, I'll just say I highly recommend it for everyone.

When when things start to feel a little out of control, remember, this too shall pass and take a few deep breaths.