by Karen J. Brand
It seems easy, doesn’t it? We’re born knowing how to take a breath… in… out… in… out…
As children, we automatically take those big breaths. We play hide-and-seek and ride our bikes and take big gulping breaths of air as we enjoy ourselves. We use our breath to yell responses to our friends and to scream as we ride the ferris wheel at the local fair.
As adults, we don’t seem to take those deep breaths on a regular basis. We have such busy lives that we often find ourselves frantically going from one task to another. Our breath tends to stay in our upper chest area… in… out… in… out… These breaths are short and choppy and are the result of stress and tension. When we do stop to take a deep breath, it feels a little foreign, doesn’t it?
Here’s an exercise I use to remind myself to take those deep breaths:
I set my watch to chime on the hour, every hour. When it does, I close my eyes, and take 5 slow, deep breaths. Then I slowly open my eyes and return refreshed to what I was doing. Sometimes I remain with my eyes closed and add a prayer, a wish or envision my goals.