January 6: Breathing

There are so many breathing techniques that are incredibly helpful.  Breathing properly brings more oxygen to our brain, helps our bodies and our minds to relax and heal, expands and strengthens our lungs, and calms our nerves.  Certain breathing practices done consistently, first thing in the morning, a few times throughout the day, and right before bed can and will work wonders!

I’d like to invite you to try something right now, if you haven’t already.  It’s called BOX BREATHING.  Breath in slowly while silently counting in your head, “One-one thousand, Two-one thousand, Three-one thousand, Four-one thousand.”  Expand your lungs and breath in as deeply as you possibly can during this four seconds until you feel like your lungs will burst, then hold it in for another count of four.  Slowly let it out for a count of four, and when your lungs have completely deflated, hold your breath again for four seconds.  Repeat this three times.

A short Tedx talk given by Max Strom found on YouTube, entitled, “Breath to Heal,” explains why proper breathing is required for healing.

Box Breathing is something anyone can do at any time throughout the day.  I’ve found it helpful when I am feeling anxious, stressed, challenged at work, or in life.  Box Breathing is also something the Navy Seals practice, and they don’t waste their time on technology or practices that don’t work or that may be ineffective in any way.  Their lives depend upon their habits and practices, so the fact that they practice Box Breathing on a daily basis certainly interested me.

Try this method of breathing for yourself each day for a just a week.  At the end of the week take a personal inventory.  Did this technique help you?  How?  Is it worth it to keep practicing this breathing exercise every day, or is it a waste of your time?  Find out if it works for you and try it for just one week.  It just may be just the thing you have been looking for to help alleviate stress and anxiety from your life.

I actually set alarms for everything new I try until it has been completely integrated and habituated into my life, including this breathing practice.  If it works, I keep doing it.  If it doesn’t, I keep searching for and experimenting with things which will.  I simply get more done that way.

Some of these alarms go on daily, for three months,  in order for the habit to become fully integrated.  Some of the things I try are so fun, useful, effective,  and easy, the alarm only lasts a week.  Other habits take a bit longer to integrate.  My wife and kids tease me because of the alarms constantly going off all day long, but it helps me, and so I keep doing it.

Another breathing technique that up-regulates the immune system and makes us stronger, is the Wim Hof method.  Try it out and see what you think!

There simply came a point and time in my life where change was necessary, and I knew that in order for things to improve and change for me, I was going to need to improve and change some of my personal practices and habits.  This practice has helped me immensely.  I hope it helps you, as well.

Today’s challenge for myself:  Today I will try this new breathing technique.  If I find it beneficial in any way I will make it a habit to continue, periodically, throughout each day.

Click here to be sent to the link to my blog, with a story about WHY I chose to research breathing techniques.

More helpful videos on the importance and value of breath exercises:

This is the video which introduced me to Box Breathing:

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Remember:  Mindset matters.  Character counts.  That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives.  WE CREATE our realities.

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