I haven’t posted an article for several weeks. I have had a lot going on and I couldn’t get my mind to focus on writing. The events that are consuming my time and energy are all good things for the most part. There is just a lot at one time as often happens in life.
My wise mother of 84 years is one of my best friends and confidantes. Over and over, she keeps reminding me to breathe! She has frequently offered that advice throughout my life during times of stress and busy-ness.
Over the past few years I have become an enthusiastic hot yoga practitioner. For the yogis out there, you understand that breath is the fundamental premise behind yoga. By coordinating breath with movement, it brings your mind and body into balance, so you can see reality clearly.
There are studies showing that breathing techniques are effective against anxiety and insomnia. These techniques influence both physiological and psychological factors by diverting our attention from thoughts. There is a link below to more research if you are interested.
Breathing is so central to life that it is no wonder humankind long ago noted its value not only to survival but to the functioning of the body and mind and began controlling it to improve well-being.
In my career I used breathing to calm my nerves before presenting to a large group or participating in an important meeting. I would find a quiet place to be alone for a couple of minutes, take a few deep breaths, tell myself to slow down, and remind myself to do my best. A little prayer never hurts either!
This is not a new concept, but one that keeps coming up for me throughout my life and career to help manage anxiety. What are some ways you have found to manage anxiety? I’d love to hear from you!
Christopher André (2019), Proper Breathing Brings Better Health, Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/proper-breathing-brings-better-health/
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