The Most Magical Medicine: Breath

Sep 21, 2022

If you've followed along with my blog, I usually tell a story, present a concept, or offer a perspective different than accepted perspectives. My goal today is to help you think differently. Your best thinking got you here, and if you want to shift to higher levels of wealth, success, and happiness, you must think differently.

I try not to tell you the right way or wrong way to think, but to offer you a different way of thinking. You get to eat the fruit and spit out the seeds. There is no right or wrong. Just different. I share what is currently helping me, and you get to choose if you want to give my new mindset or heartset a try. 

Hopefully my musings have helped. 

In this blog I'm offering not a concept, but a tool which will help you feel more centered, balanced, and connected in your life. This works. You get to choose whether you'll give it a whirl or not. 


There's a Very Good Reason

Do you ever notice when someone is having a panic attack, dealing with high levels of anxiety, or angry,  someone else might bark an order to "breathe?" Have you ever thought about why telling each other to breathe is so common when we are in a heightened state of emotion?

There's a very good reason: breathing is the greatest tool, and oxygen is the greatest chemical to regain a functional emotional state. The pharmaceutical industry thrives on treating anxiety, depression, and other emotional states, and oxygen is free but rarely appreciated as a magical elixir. 

Oxygen helps our body reset and helps all systems to rebalance so that they function cohesively. But the average human being rarely stops to breathe deeply, instead reaching for the medicine cabinet.

When I hired my first coach I undervalued breathing, and when he asked me to breathe deeply for 3 minutes 10 times per day, I thought I was wasting the money I invested in him to teach me what he knew. After a few weeks of intentional, focused, concentrated deep breathing, I gained a new respect for the magic of oxygen. 

My first response to his request for me to breathe was "I do breathe!" I had hired him when I was in a very dark and depressed state, and he helped me see that heightened or low emotional states cause shallow breathing which depletes the oxygen supply in our body, and when we breathe deeper for a few minutes, we give our body the dose of oxygen it needs to get its bearings. 

Over time, I shifted from scheduling 10 breathing sessions throughout the day to recognizing when my body needed more oxygen. With a finer-tuned self-awareness, I can pause when necessary to focus all my attention and awareness on resupplying my body of the magical elixir. 

It worked for me. I know it will work for you too. 


The Process

If you have not practiced intentional breathing, I want you to set 10 alarms on your phone. Consider scheduling them for each hour, but the goal is to spread them throughout the day so that you are alerted to pause, breathe, and create a new habit by doing this daily. 

When your alarm goes off, here's what I want you to do:

  1. Set an alarm for 3 minutes, but do not start the timer yet. 
  2. Close your eyes, feel your body, and note what you feel (anxiety, tension, stress, calm, etc.)
  3. Start on your timer.
  4. Focus all your attention on your breathing. If your attention and awareness drift, simply bring them back to your breathing, no judgement. 
  5. Breathe in slowly through your nose, slowly counting to 5. 
  6. Hold your breath, slowly counting to 5. 
  7. Exhale, slowly counting to 5.
  8. When the alarm sounds, take one final extremely deep, full breath.
  9. Feel your body, and take note of how you feel (anxiety, tension, stress, calm, etc.)
  10. Resume normal activity.


The Impact

I am confident that if you do this 10 times per day, the overall amount of relaxation, peace, and calm you experience will increase immeasurably. This is a practice which changed the way I feel. Now whenever I feel off balanced, anxious, fearful, stressed, etc. I breathe deeply, and each time I regain my internal balance.

I didn't understand how impactful this practice and exercise would be, but I live a much higher quality life because I take time to appreciate breathing, especially deep breathing. I find myself spending much of my day focusing on my breath and enjoying my life. Things has slowed for me, and I notice I need a whole lot less to be ok in life. 

I know this practice will have the same impact on you. When it changes your life, I just want to say for the record that I'm not surprised. 

Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash

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