… And Breathe

Samoa Sunset Breathe

I wouldn’t consider myself a person that suffers from anxiety. However, this changes depending on the environment I sometimes find myself in. There are certain situations that do lead to me feeling worried, concerned, overwhelmed and dare I say it anxious.

The best trick I have learnt to help erode these feelings before they fully take hold, is to breathe when the feelings first arise. That’s right, simply to breathe. I take a couple of deep breaths, with or without my eyes being closed, and 9 times out of 10 the feelings have dissipated within a minute or so.

Focusing just on breathing, allows us an opportunity to gather our thoughts and to gain composure with the added bonus of a release of tensions, mental clarity and calmness. This in turn brings you back to the present and allows you to slow down, however fleeting this might be.

For those who would like to flex their breathing muscles a bit more, here are a couple of deep breathing exercises I’d like to share:

1. Pranic (life force energy) Breathing – A 6-3-6-3 cycle:
  • Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth
  • Inhale through your nose for six counts
  • Pause & hold your breath for three counts
  • Exhale back through your nose for six counts
  • Pause & hold your breath for three counts 
  • This completes one cycle

2. Deep Breathing in 4 stages – Inhalation, Retention, Exhalation, and Pause:

  • Inhale – 4 to 6 seconds – Start in a relaxed position and inhale through your nose. Expand your diaphragm downward, drawing in air. When you can feel that the lower lungs, ribcage, and back are filled, expand the upper rib cage and raise the collarbones slightly to create more room for air.
  • Retain – 3 to 5 seconds (when you’re starting out, build this up to 4x the duration of your inhale) – Gently pull in the lower abdomen until you feel a slight pressure in your abdomen. Relax & hold the breath.
  • Exhale – twice as long as your inhale – Can be either through your nose or mouth. Gently but firmly squeeze the belly in at the end – this helps push all the stale air out!
  • Pause – a few seconds – This paused smooths out the transition between exhalation and inhalation.

Breathe, and enjoy each moment of this life.
They’re too fleeting and few to waste.



Katherine Bugden

The beautiful Katherine Bugden is a co-founder and contributor to A Conscious Beauty blog.

This English lass is an avid writer, tea drinker, reader and can chat the hind legs off a donkey. She loves to travel and has a serious case of wanderlust, which is providing ample fodder for day-dreams. Love, family, friends and laughter are constant themes in this beauty’s life. When not working, reading or writing, she’s on the beach lapping up the sunshine and letting the ocean wash any worries away.

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