The Most Convenient, Always Available, No-Cost, Easy to Use Stress Reliever

When you’re upset, your breath is one of the first things to go. You start to shallow-breathe or hold your breath, trying to regain your composure. We are born breathing like puppies, from our belly, soft and relaxed. Growing up, we experience fear, stress, and trauma. We start to shallow-breathe (breathing only from the chest) and/or hold our breath more often than not. This increases fatigue, difficulty with focus and concentration and poor memory. For your brain to function efficiently, research shows it needs 20% more oxygen than the rest of your body.

Several times a day, notice how you’re breathing and use these research-based breath practices to relieve stress.

  • To release body tension and increase inner-calm
    • Take a slow, deep breath in through the nose, gathering up that tension in your body (head, neck, shoulders, chest, etc.) hold it for a quick count of 1-2-3.
    • Part your lips slightly and exhale from your mouth, slowly and fully – let that stuff go!
    • Take 2 or 3 more breaths this way, to increase your inner-calm.

Note: You can do this anytime – during a meeting, tough conversation, walking, driving. It’s so subtle that no one will notice you’re doing it.

  • To improve focus, concentration, and energy
    • Take a full breath from down deep. Exhale slowly and softly.
    • Take a normal breath or 2.
    • Take 3 more full breaths, with a normal breath or 2 between each.
    • Repeat 4 times throughout the day.

Benefits – Research shows this practice improves memory recall, energy, focus & concentration

  • To improve focus and concentration. Do this a few minutes and up to 20min several times a week or daily. Any time of day that works best for you.
    • Do this sitting or reclining.
    • Breathe normally. Your body has its own rhythm and knows when to take each breath and release it.
    • Simply pay attention to your breath – without judgment.
      • Feel the air move past your nostrils – cool inhaling, warm exhaling.
      • Experience your chest and abdomen gently rising and falling.
      • Optional: Include a mantra: Inhale and mentally say, I am peaceful. Exhale and say, I am calm.

Note: Within a breath or two your mind will drift into thinking. The mind normally, naturally wanders. Simply refocus to your breath, without judgment no matter how often this happens. Every time you refocus to your breath, you are strengthening your ability to focus and concentrate better.

You have to breathe anyway, why not breathe effectively?! Here’s a link to one of my “Just Take 2” guided breath practices: to Relieve Stress