Here’s a simple breathing exercise that I learned in a pain management course. It works for almost anything you need it for – pain, stress, meditation.
Deep breathing is the fastest way to balance your brain and your body. When we regulate our breathing, we supply our blood with necessary oxygen to regulate our blood flow and regulate our bodies.
1. Close your eyes (after you remember these few simple steps!).
2. Breathe in through your nose to a count of six (if you can’t get to six, get as far as you can). Breathe out through your mouth slowly to a count of six. Repeat 3 times.
3. Breathe in through your nose to a count of six. Breathe out slowly through your mouth to a count of six, as if you’re blowing a candle and making it flicker, but not extinguish. Repeat 3 times.
4. Breathe in through your nose to a count of six. Breathe out through your to a count of six, with enough force to extinguish a candle. Repeat 3 times.
5. Breathe slowly in and out through your nose for a few moments and open your eyes.
Before you begin, find your happy place. Close your eyes and picture your most peaceful setting – whether that’s on a beach, in the forest or just in your cozy bed. Picture yourself walking to your special place, sitting or lying down, and listen. Listen for the sounds of your special place – the water, the birds, the ticking of a clock. Stay in your special place until you complete the breathing exercise. Before you open your eyes, picture yourself getting up and walking away, completely refreshed.
My special place is a beach on the Central California coast. A place that I found once with my best friend, and once with my husband – but I can’t ever seem to locate the beach again. So now it exists only in my mind. I think that makes it even more special, as it’s always what I want it to be.
Always – always – always, in any tough situation, painful situation: breathe and center yourself.