How To Breathe

CoupleDumb is committed to creating happiness! To that end, we have decided to dedicate every Thursday to being relaxed, calm and stress free. A relaxed couple can focus on their relationship without the added pressure of anxiety. We will stress that one of us is a therapist and has employed these techniques with clients and both of us use these techniques on a daily basis. NOTE: Only a medical professional (preferably a Psychiatrist) can discuss the discontinuation of a medication. We strongly recommend you discuss this with your doctor.  CoupleDumb is not anti-meds but we are anti-anxiety.

Welcome to Relaxation Thursdays! This weekly post was inspired by discussions with friends and some inspirations that could only be defined as Divine. We will be discussing the techniques, beliefs and ways of being that have helped us through the years. We are not here to convert anyone. We may mention some techniques that have been associated with certain belief systems but by no means do we mean any disrespect to any faith.

This month we will concentrate on the most basic of elements of relaxation: Breathing. We take it for granted. It is regulated by our autonomic nervous system which makes sure our heart beats as well. Breath is associated with life. The first outward sign of life is the breath. When our children sleep, we watch them breathe. Breath is the foundation of relaxation. In fact, one of the first things to become affected by stress is our breathing. In fact, most people who complain of anxiety rarely take a deep breath!

Breathing deeply relaxes us. The complete and healthy exchange of oxygen to carbon dioxide enriches our blood and ultimately brain and removes the toxic carbon from our bodies. Little did you know that when you learned this in grade school what they were really teaching you is that the breath is the most important physical exercise we do. Yes, we should move around and sweat but you won’t get very far without proper breath control.

Conscious breathing is the first step to regaining a deep sense of peace and relaxing.

Exercise: Conscious Breathing

Find a nice quiet place in your home, or maybe in nature. Make sure you have no constricting clothing and that you are sitting comfortably and your posture is good. There is no need to get into a lotus position. Just be comfortable. This exercise will only take a few minutes in the beginning. You may choose to expand it later with meditation.

Purpose: Expand your lungs and oxygenate your brain.

Effects: You will think clearer, feel more relaxed and this will allow you to take deeper breaths when you aren’t conscious of your breathing.

1. Take in a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth.  Do this 3 times.

2. Now, when you take in your deep breath through your nose, mentally count to 10 (slowly).

3. Hold that breath for a count of 5.

4. Now exhale through your mouth slowly, mentally counting to 10 (slowly).

Note: You may become dizzy. It will pass.

5. Do this for a few minutes (or as long as you can tolerate it).

Practice your conscious breathing daily. Next week, we will expand our understanding of breathing and add more techniques to your relaxation tool box. Namaste!

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