The Power of Breath

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There’s an overwhelming abundance of power in something super simple you do all the time without even thinking about it – breathing.

When you take deep, calm and considered breaths, you allow your body to relax. If you think about it, taking deep breaths would be nigh on impossible if you were running from a tiger, right, an undoubtedly stressful situation? And if you’re in a stressed or panicked state, controlling your breathing is an immediate means of calming yourself down, telling your body “there is no tiger, we have time to breathe”.

A really easy technique is called the Box Method, or the 4x4 — you breathe in for four seconds, hold it for four, exhale for four, hold for four and then repeat four times (or as long as you need).

I find this is a gentle and effective way to ease the chatter in my head, and allow space for realistic and effective problem-solving in a stressful or emotional time. I also take four deep breaths whenever I remember to. I’ve also made a ritual out of taking deep breaths for the duration of a red traffic light when I’m in the car.

Such a simple little accessible coping mechanism that has profound effects! Keep it tucked safely in your toolbox.

Anna Birchall