I had one last week at the local meeting for the International Coach Federation where Ana Almeida Melikian, PhD shared a very simple technique that I felt I should have discovered years ago.
She acknowledged that many of us teach people to breathe when they are stressed. I have been teaching people for years to “take a breath, clear your mind, center yourself and then shift to feeling the one emotion you want to carry into the moment.”
It’s the “taking a breath” part that is wrong.
Dr. Melikian explained that you can’t take a full breath into a lung that is full of residual air. When we are stressed, we breath shallowly, using only the top portion of our lungs. The lungs have to be emptied first before we can take in a full breath.
Therefore, it is important to slowly and fully breathe out first.
When you are stressed, fully release the breath in your lungs before taking in a deep, full breath. Then you can come back to breathing normally more quickly.
When you wake up in the morning, release your breath first, then take in a deep breath of air from the new day.
Throughout the day as you go from task to task and sit with poor posture at your computer, stop and release all your stale air, which allows you to then take in a fresh lungful of air to bring you back to the present moment.
Why didn’t I think of this — breathe out first?! I am grateful to Ana for sharing.
Do you have any simple wonderful life-enriching tips to share?