I love having guest bloggers sharing interesting and informative content on Re-Discover Washington. This post comes to you from Yael DiPlacido, owner at Life Balance Counselling, LLC. Yael is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in the State of Missouri. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, a Master of Social Work and Certification in Clinical Social Work with Families from St. Louis University. Yael is also a good friend of mine, who just started her blog. Her second entry is on breathing – something so simple, that we do all the time without being aware of it. Read on to learn how to incorporate breathing in your daily life and make it work for your brain!
We take anywhere between 20 000-25 000 breaths a day… are you aware of breathing in and breathing out?
We all breathe and we all know what happens when we stop breathing.
Not surprisingly, most of us have found ourselves at least in one situation where we were feeling anxious, angry, or stressed to the point that someone around us had to instruct us to “take a breath.” We have known about the power of mindful breathing from the beginning of time. It has become the basis for different forms of meditation in both Western and Eastern spiritual traditions. We commonly tell each other to “take a breath” when we try to help each other relax. But, what many people do not consciously realize is that focusing your attention on your breath is the one most effective thing for relaxation.
So, while the basic instruction to staying alive is to “keep breathing,” the basic instruction to keeping calm is to “keep focusing on your breath.”
How about just trying it right now? Here is the very simple way to do it:
- Slowly, draw in a breath, and notice your lungs and belly filling with air.
- Slowly, let the breath out and notice the release that happens in your body.
- Repeat over and over again.
(Some people find it helpful to count while drawing the breath in and out. Try counting to 4 while drawing the breath in and to 4 again, on the way of the breath out.)
When you focus your attention on your breath, you take your attention off your anger, fear, stress, and worry. You become one with the perfection of the present moment.
Moreover, ( very simplistically stating,) the more you practice mindful or conscious breathing, the more you strengthen those “relaxed” pathways in the brain. In other words, the more you practice this technique the more you train your brain to respond with calm to stress.
Do it for just a few minutes in the morning, and then stop and do it a few times a day, especially when things get a little much for you. Let me know what you noticed and have fun breathing!
You can reach Yael at 314.660.7473 or email@example.com. Visit her website here. Life Balance Counseling is part of the Washington Healing Arts Center. Yael also provides Individual, couples, family and group therapy. To follow Yeal’s blog, click here.