New Year’s Breath

It’s time for a New Year’s Breath. Okay, intentions are great, and we’ve talked about the value of setting 3 month goals before, but today I want to really emphasize the power of your breath. Sometimes, as we look at the year to come and the projects to conquer . . . it can become daunting.

So today, I invite you to take a big New Year’s Breath.

New Year Breath

And in taking your breath, imagine that breath tapping into the part of your mind that holds the stress, and allowing that stress to simply breathe out.

Did you know that the medulla, which controls your breath, is actually situated very closed to the part of your mind that handles stress? So when you control and calm your breath, you are in a sense, controlling and calming your stress levels.

I personally have experience that direct connection between the breath and stress. In my public speaking, I’ve used the breathing technique many time to calm my nerves. Just the other day I was at a charity fundraiser for the Ottawa Hospitals Healthy Women, Healthy Community initiative, and had a moment to speak before the room.

Just before getting up to speak, I felt that pang of fear. All those eyes on me, the pressure to say just the right thing . . . so I took a deep belly breath. I saw the stressed energy being released as my breath let go, and this quieted the butterflies. In a sense, I became self aware of my emotions within that moment, and used my body’s cues and wiring to help calm down.

(This, by the way, is a great example of the bridge to come in our blogging series between self aware smart and body smart. Stay tuned for that!)

Maybe you need a little help taking your New Year’s Breath? No worries, here is a great exercise from Dr. Greg Wells on how to breathe deep into your belly and let go of the anxieties. I learnt it during my week at Robin Sharma’s Titan Summit, and it reminded me so much of what we do here.

Good luck with 2015. And don’t forget to breath!

Here’s the exercise from Dr. Greg Well’s page. Do be sure to click through and learn more about his fantastic work:

“You can perform relaxation breathing by expanding your abdomen so that your stomach rises with every inhalation and lowers when you exhale. Try to slow the breathing down to six seconds in and six seconds out. This exercise, which can be performed at any time, has immediate benefits.

… Take just a moment to relax, let go and focus on the important task at hand rather than on the past or future. It’s a very powerful technique. The applications for this are endless. Deep breathing is a great tool for relaxing the body and letting the stressful moment go so you can focus and concentrate on your next performance. Try it out the next time you are feeling anxious, nervous or stressed.”

Till 2015!



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