Article Inhale. Exhale. Breathing is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to reducing anxiety and managing stress. 0 2015 Life coaching Stress management coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

Reduce Anxiety With These 2 Simple Words

TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development anxiety, stress, stress management, breathing, breath, stress relief, overwhelmed, meditation, mindfulness

Eileen's speech

Eileen looked around the room anxiously, waiting for her turn. As she sat there, a million thoughts raced through her head - What would they think of her? Would she be able to communicate her thoughts properly? Did she smell bad or look funny?

"Ugh! I hate have to talk in front of people!," Eileen thought. She could feel her palms sweating and her heart racing. Suddenly, Eileen remembered advice she had gotten in yoga class.

"Inhale." "Exhale." "Breathe in your tension." "Now let it all out."

Eileen did just that; breathing deeply several times and paying attention to where she felt tense, Eileen was able to calm her nerves. When it was her turn, Eileen spoke confidently and eloquently. She felt a little tense while speaking, but not nearly as distressed as she had a few minutes before.


The gift of life

Without breath, there is no life. In our age of technology, we have machines that can breath for us but they are no substitute for breathing on our own. Every winter, God reminds me how much I love breathing. It is inevitable. At some point during the winter, my nose gets stuffed up and I long to breathe freely. The rest of the time, I give little thought to the oxygen that sustains me.

Breathing well

Most people have poor breathing habits. We do not fully inhale or exhale. When we're anxious or upset, it gets even worse. Our breath becomes much more shallow. This is the result of increased adrenaline based on what we perceive to be threatening.

To counteract this increased arousal, purposely breathing more deeply signals to your brain and body that you are safe and not in immediate danger. This simple shift moves us from emotional reasoning (often subconscious) to logical reasoning. Because of this, proper breathing can lay the groundwork for rational and proactive changes. It also helps us understand that consistent or frequent states of arousal minimize our ability to think straight. This is one of the reasons we find ourselves experiencing cyclical behavior.

Do Try This At Home

Right now, take a moment to notice how quickly or slowly you're breathing. Are you fully inhaling and exhaling? If the answer is no, become more purposeful in your breaths. Inhale as much as you can through your nose. Hold it for a few seconds. Then forcefully exhale. Practice this throughout the day, deep breathing for at least 5 breaths at a time.

As you become more proficient at recognizing and adjusting your breathing, begin to focus on areas of tension within your body. Common areas are the jaws, shoulders, hips or stomach. Imagine a "stress ball" in that area. As you inhale, picture the ball being surrounded by your breath. As you exhale, see the ball dissolving and floating out.

One reason breathing is such a great tool is that it's free and you always have it with you. If you build a habit of breathing deeply, you are more likely to rely on it when you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed. This shift to intentional, deliberate breathing also allows you to move to intentional and deliberate responses. You can move from reacting to responding and from surviving to thriving.

Blessings and grace heart


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