Are you breathing? Then you are alive!
Yes, we all do it, all of the time and we give it very little thought (and probably NO appreciation!) – unless we are ‘out of breath’ or ‘catch our breath’ – when suddenly it becomes much more important.
Are you stressed? Your breath can give you an indication AND a solution.
Breath check: Place one hand high on your chest and the other on your ‘6-pack’, breath normally a few times and note which hand moves most.
If it is the lower hand or both are about equal, then you are probably managing OK. But if it is the upper hand, then you are taking only shallow, little breaths and your brain is not receiving the oxygen it needs to function properly. It is a sign that you are probably showing the strain of stressful situations.
Here is what to do: If you are aware that things are ‘getting to you’ then do your Breath Check about once an hour. Next take 1 minute (or longer if you wish) to make the Mind Chi square belly breath. To do this breathe IN for a count of 3 seconds, HOLD for a count of 3; OUT for a count of 3 and stay EMPTY for a count of 3. (If you have good breath control, you may increase the 3 second count to 4 or 5 seconds.)
What have you done for yourself? Even with something so simple as that breath, you have done many good things for yourself: you have increased the oxygen to your brain, as your brain requires 20% of each intake to keep working optimally, less than that means your thinking is fuzzy and slow. Your breath also interrupts the automatic stress response and starts to switch the cortisal flooded negative environment to a richer, positive environment. Concentrating on the breath also allows your brain a rest from whatever the stressful thoughts were and provides an opportunity to rest and refresh; this often encourages a fresh perspective – one where you might see more opportunities and solutions.
This is why we have made it the first step of the Mind Chi Basic 8 step (taking just 8 minutes) – for the other seven, please follow this link.
The Harvard Medical School also promotes the power of the breath , their article is here.
Best of all it is FREE