Something as simple as your breath can change your attitude when facing challenging events and relationships, producing new results.
Our mind usually keeps us in a constant internal chatter, taking our attention to various places, people, and past and future events. It may have happened to you that while driving your car, your mind takes you to another time and place, and you lose consciousness of your driving, doing it without remembering all the details of how you got where you are, and when you turned or slowed down.
This constant dialogue of the mind distracts us and leads us to live a life in automatic, without allowing ourselves to fully enjoy the experiences we go through. One of the practices that can helps us reconnect with the “here and now” is something as simple as conscious breathing, which leads us to not only regain our balance, but it also creates spaces for inner healing.
While practicing any of the three techniques we will cover here, it is imperative that we situate ourselves in an inner space and attitude in which our intention is to find something positive for ourselves during and after the exercises. Let faith guide you, and not skepticism. So once you have decided the attitude with which you will introduce yourself into these techniques, you are ready to practice them. Let’s begin!
The first technique uses creative visualization, it is very easy to practice and helps us get into balance quickly. It consists of inhaling slowly through the nose while imagining that we bring the air to the center of the heart, revitalizing it with energy. As we exhale through the mouth, we focus on letting go of all tension, worries, or blockages. It can be practiced for one minute or more, three times a day, or whenever you consider it appropriate. It is particularly effective when you face an uncomfortable or challenging situation, as it forces you to pause rather than jump into reaction. Through this technique we can allow our hearts to fill with positive energy, with an energy of light.
The second technique helps us handle negative emotions. Especially when there are episodes of anxiety or fear and the heart rate is accelerated. It’s been used by the United States Army to help soldiers cope with stressful situations they are frequently exposed to. It consists of taking a deep inhalation through the nose, counting 4 seconds, then holding the air inside your lungs counting 4 seconds, then exhaling through the mouth counting 4 seconds, and finally, keeping your lungs without air for 4 seconds. Once this process is finished, the cycle is resumed, and you can do it as many times as you need until you feel that your body is in balance, calm, and that your heart rate slowed down.
And the last one can be used to reset and practice keeping your attention in the present. It is particularly effective when we feel guilt, regrets, or emotions that do not align with the life we want to carry on. It requires a little more concentration, since the order of the numbers that we will mention during the process goes against the natural process. It consists of taking an inhalation through the nose and immediately thinking of the number 2, then when exhaling through the mouth, think of the number 1 and say the words: “let go” out loud. This process can be repeated throughout the day whenever you want. It is a very simple method to capture our attention and make us aware of releasing what does not allow us to move forward.
When we give ourselves the opportunity to practice these simple but powerful breathing techniques, we will be supporting our growth and healing process. If you give them enough time and space, these techniques will gracefully enter into your unconscious, cleaning the roots of what has been hindering you from experiencing your life in fullness. In these spaces, you may even realize aspects that need to be changed, which in itself opens the doors to your personal transformation process.
Over time, you will start responding differently to those situations or events in which you previously reacted automatically, and you will begin to give yourself the gift of a pause, that may well lead you into a different path, one of greater results and healthier relationships.
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