It is surprising how easy it sometimes is to do something good for our health.
Breathing, for example.
Today, I will walk you through a method I use frequently to help my patients relax and tolerate uncomfortable procedures with ease. If their usual response is a guide, you may benefit too, at any time, throughout the day, in any moment of stress, tension, anger, frustration, or even pain.
With some variation in rates and duration, this method is used by world-class athletes and Special Forces warriors before they enter their competition or combat mission. It has been shown to abruptly lower heart rate, blood pressure, and decrease the stress hormones flooding our system when we’re under duress.
The result: calm, serenity, clarity, increased attention, and focus, improved physical and mental performance, as well as tolerance to stressful and painful stimulation.
Find a quiet comfortable area. Sit with a dignified posture, with your head up, with your ears lined up with the shoulders, and with your hands resting on your thighs, looking down about 6 feet in front of you.
Close your eyes. With the eyes of your imagination visualize a screen with counting numbers representing seconds. Inhale for 2 seconds, hold for the 3rd second, exhale for the 4th through the 10th, then pause at the bottom for 2 seconds (11, 12). Repeat. Focus on the count. Gently hush away all the thoughts, memories, and plans that will shower your mind continuously. Only the count exists. Live and enjoy each second like a refreshing potion healing your body and spirit (Because it really does).
It may be difficult at the beginning. Like with anything else, you will get better. And you will feel better. It may be one of the best medicines you’ll use. And it was really cheap…
Next time, we’ll try a different breathing method. Feel free to choose one or the other or combine them.
Until then, take good care of yourself.