Breathing may not always be the answer to a problem; but, it’s never a bad start.

by Sunday, September 10, 2017

Refresh. Not there. Refresh…still not there. REFRESH! How long does it take to send an email??

I’ve been waiting to hear back on the availability of a new house. I won’t bore you with the details; but, it’d be a near perfect fit for us currently. But, the rental company is slow. Unbearably slow. I understand it take a couple days to vet someone. But, not a couple weeks. Not knowing is making me super anxious. That anxiety is creeping in to my days. I’m stalling out in other areas. I need to take control of the situation.

The answer is both simple and hard all at the same time. I just need to breathe. It’s something I’ve studied both during my yoga teacher training in Bali and in numerous workshops in Asia. I even recently visited a seminar by Wim Hof in LA. He has numerous world records for breath holds and cold exposure times.

Lacey Jones and Wim Hof

He has an elegant mantra to remind you how essential taking in oxygen correctly is: “BREATHE MOTHERF@CKER!”

Point being: I know many of these techniques intellectually. But, it’s easy to forget to employ them once you get out of practice. Any number of breath work methods will help. I just have to actually stop and apply one.

So, I’m anxious and frustrated. What tool should I be reaching for? While there’s more the one answer, the first thing that comes to mind is Box Breathing.

It’s likely been around in some form or another for a VERY long time. But, it’s gained fame in recent years with successful Navy SEAL, Mark Divine, discussing its benefits during missions. The technique is simple.

  1. Breathe in deeply for 4 seconds
  2. Hold the breath for 4 seconds
  3. Exhale fully for 4 seconds
  4. Hold for 4 seconds
  5. REPEAT for 5 minutes

Gratified Soul

 

You’ll feel your emotions melt away with each cycle. What you’re doing, essentially, is pulling your brain out of “Fight or Flight” mode and entering it into the parasympathetic or “Rest and Digest” mode. Too much Fight or Flight can lead to whacked out cortisol levels and stressed adrenals. Box breathing will bring you back to homeostasis.

Of course, there’s one important caveat; one that I overlooked the last couple of weeks. Knowing that breathing works doesn’t help if you don’t actually do it!

Follow the steps and see how you feel. Your worst case scenario is that you’re out 5 minutes (you would’ve been on Instagram anyways). Your best case is that you feel like a new person! I’m doing mine now. Try it with me and post how you feel below. I can’t wait to hear. But, I won’t be holding my breath either. 😉

 

*Feature Photo of Lacey Jones taken in Hong Kong by Lewis Lam

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2 Responses
  • Emily Stevens
    September 10, 2017

    Wow, great tip!

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