"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
Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
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