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 Healthy Computing: Air Out Your Vocabulary 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by . View all columns in series
"Don't hold your breath." "It left me breathless." "He waited with bated breath." Do these comments sound familiar? Actually, do they feel familiar? Do you find that you hold your breath when concentrating? Breath-holding is such a universal habit that we have everyday statements in which we refer to this widespread habit. Yet, we have no common statement in which we say, "And I began breathing again". Balance out breath-holding and relax when you AIR OUT YOUR VOCABULARY.

How to Air Out Your Vocabulary:
When we hold our breath, we unknowingly tense our shoulders and tighten our chests, which can lead to a habit of breathing rapidly and shallowly. Train yourself to observe your breathing. Do you:

  • Hold your breath when mousing, cutting & pasting, or waiting for the computer to respond?
  • Feel sometimes a sense of anxiety and an inability to breathe?
  • Breathe generally shallowly, rapidly and in your upper chest?
  • Expand your chest and raise your shoulders when you take a deep breath?

If you have one of the above breathing patterns:

  • Ask yourself what statement you would use to describe your breathing pattern, such as, I gasped in awe, It took away my breath, etc.
  • Then, create a statement that describes how you want to resume your breathing, such as, "My breathing is quie," "I breathe effortlessly," "Breathing is calm and regular," etc.

Throughout the day, check your breathing, gently exhale longer and return to a rhythmic pattern of breathing. When retiring at night remind yourself to exhale slowly as you drift into the peaceful heaviness of deep sleep.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders
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 About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco......moreErik Peper PhD
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