While it may not be anatomically correct, there’s something wonderfully soothing about imagining your heart as the center of every breath. Here’s how:
Rest both hands over your heart.
Imagine breathing in and out through your heart.
Feel your body relax and your mind quiet.
Continue until you feel calm returning to your entire system.
I once tried this with my daughter while she was recovery from surgery. Still in the hospital and having a very difficult time with pain management, her heart monitor registered dangerously high. I placed my hand over her heart and asked her to breathe into my hand. Very soon the monitor was quiet and ease began to spread through her body. We stuck with it until she was able to maintain that sense of calm all on her own.
Heart breathing isn’t something I invented. This simplified version is a derivative of HeartMath, an intriguing, science-based, approach to relieving anxiety and fear. For more on HeartMath, check out their website: https://www.heartmath.com.
Photo by Nine Köpfer on Unsplash
Nothing is more natural than breathing.
Your body thrives on the oxygen you draw in through your lungs. And your body knows exactly what to do to take a breath.
So why do you sometimes find yourself a bit short of breath, wishing you could pull in one big inhale?
A serious medical condition aside, it may surprise you to learn that it’s not so much an inability to inhale that’s keeping you from filling your lungs to capacity but rather an inability to exhale. In fact, Fritz Perls, M.D., one of the grand-daddies of body-centered psychotherapy, often noted that “Anxiety is excitement without breathing.”
Whether you’re holding your breath with anticipation or simply taking shallow breathes, the quickest way to deepen your breathing and release the tension in your ribcage (which by the by is one of the main reasons your breath became shallow in the first place) is to exhale completely.
Give it a try:
When you feel you have reached your limit, push out just a little bit more air.
One way to easily do this is to imagine breathing out through a straw or blowing up a balloon. When you feel your lungs are empty give one last little blow. Make sure you’re exhaling from your chest and lungs rather than air held in your cheeks.
After that last push simply stop.
Hold your breath.
When you feel you really need to breathe, let go and allow air to enter your lungs.
Feel how much deeper and easier you are breathing.
Still not sure you’re doing it “right”? Here’s a clue. If you don’t automatically take a giant breath, chances are you’re “cheating” either by taking tiny inhalations or not allowing yourself to fully exhale. If that’s the case for you, fear not. Get an actual straw and a small cup of water. Blow bubbles continuously through the straw until your lungs ache for air. Hold your breath while you take the straw from your mouth and see what happens if you just let go and let nature take it’s course.
Notice: If you wait and let your inhalation happen automatically, your ribs will fully expand to pull air into your lungs. Your body WANTS to breathe. If you simply let it do what it already knows and wants to do, you’ll be rewarded with a much deeper breath than if you try to make your ribcage expand to inhale.
Remember where you were when you started?
If you fixate on your goal you might find yourself getting discouraged that you’re not there yet. You might not realize how far you’ve actually come.
Pause every once in a while to take a look at what you have achieved and to acclimate yourself to the new scenery. Maybe it’s time to take a little detour. Perhaps you need to change your pace. Pausing gives you a chance to examine, re-assess and re-direct. To start fresh from where you are. To KNOW where you are.
You don’t need to analyze every detail. Your pause needn’t be long. Think of it as a scenic overlook. A chance to look back AND look ahead. A place from which to take in the vista, catch your breath, refresh and honor yourself for your accomplishments so far.
Then, with renewed appreciation for how far you’ve come, step back on your path.
How far have you come? What changes do you notice? How will you honor your achievements?
My daughter had me up about 5 times the other night obsessing about something that number one isn’t going to happen for two weeks and number two is something she really likes. Her obsessing mushroomed to full out meltdown. There’s a reason I call her my worry wart! What finally struck me (at about 3 am) was that her obsessing had nothing NO-thing to do with the object of her desire. Instead she was worried about something completely different and completely beyond her control. Once I had the big ah-ha, we were able to talk about her worry and she was able to sleep like a babe. I on the other hand…
Uncovering the REAL reason for their worries is just one of the many ways that people who don’t worry use to keep the warts at bay. Here’s a fascinating look at how to worry less and enjoy more.
For the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/14/dont-worry-strategies-tips-habits_n_5092683.html