How often are you aware of your breathing? Not just an ‘Oh, I must be breathing otherwise I would keel over’ sort of awareness, but a real focus on your breath: when it quickens, when it slows, when it is held, and when it flows easily and deeply. It’s something that I am paying much more attention to these days and it has been life-changing!
Did you know that, with just three deep breaths, you can really change your body’s reaction to many negative situations?
Think about when you can’t find your keys/wallet/train ticket. Panic can set in and frantic scurrying around your bag and pockets can ensue, and you can’t find what you’re looking for. Or when something more serious happens and your heart races, your palms sweat and you feel sick. This is the body’s way of getting ready to fight, flee or freeze – as if we were being chased by a man-eating tiger. Often we aren’t in physical danger, but our body still reacts in the same way, since we are programmed to do this to keep us safe. At this point, it’s sometimes a bit tricky to focus: the part of the brain that controls rational, clear thinking effectively switches off and we revert to a primitive part of the brain that deals with very physical functions.
Here’s the clever bit: by breathing in slowly and breathing out fully just three times, we can ‘fool’ our bodies into getting back to normal (known as homeostasis) where the rational brain can work properly. It’s important that those three breaths are the only thing you do at one time, so no multi-tasking and trying to breathe deeply and evenly while continuing all other panicky behaviour!
Three breaths works wonders. Give it a try and see how you get on. And as with anything, it takes practice. Hope it helps you.
P.S. Do you like the photos I’ve been posting? They are all from my garden as it’s looking very spring-like.
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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