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Take a Deep Breath and...
Kat Yares        

It is a fact of life stress is everywhere. Before you reach for that bottle, be it pills or liquids, learn to breathe.

Everyone has heard the statements, count to ten when you're angry and take a deep breath to calm down. What most people do not realize is that those statements are true. Taking a deep breath during a moment of crisis forces you to step back, even if for only a second or two, thus allowing your mind time to adjust to the situation. The same principle applies when you count when you are angry. As you count, you will be breathing, thus stepping away momentarily from the cause of your ire.

The breath is fundamental to life, yet many people never stop to consider how important it is. The body relies on air for a number of things, everything from blood flow to brain cells need the oxygen we breathe daily. 

I am going to show you two very different methods of breathing. The first is for those times, when you need to step back and take a breath, the second is for deep relaxation.

The Snorting Breath

That's my name for it; I know there are others. I use this breathing method when I find myself in a situation that I have no control over.

First, get away from the situation. Go outside or into another room.

Close your eyes and count slowly to four taking a deep breath as you do.

Hold the breath for a count of four. 

Then release the breath in four snorts. Push it out through your nose.

Repeat, this time sucking the breath in with four snorts, holding for a four count and releasing smoothly for another count of four.

Sometimes one round will do the trick, other times, you may have to repeat several times.

The Relaxation Breath

This is the breath I use when I am feeling generally stressed. This can be from working to hard, sitting too long in one place or just feeling frazzled.

First, change your position. If you are sitting, stand up. If standing, find a comfortable chair to sit in. Alternatively, lie down if you are in a place where you can.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feel the air flow first into your abdomen, allowing your tummy to swell. Continue breathing in, filling your lungs. Lift your shoulders up toward your ears, continuing to fill the empty space with air.

Hold the breath to the count of ten.

Slowly exhale through your nose in the reverse order. Empty your lungs, and then your abdomen. Contract your stomach muscles to allow all air to escape.

Repeat several times until you feel your entire body begin to relax. If you are lying down, you may indeed fall asleep, so this might not be the best position if you are due somewhere in a short time.

Learning to breathe correctly is one of the first steps of living a natural life. As you practice the many different methods of breathing, you will find yourself calmer. You will feel more confident and more secure in any situation and stressful situations will no longer control you. 

For more information on the breath and how to use it in your life, check out the following websites.

Authentic Breathing

Optimal Breathing

This article was first published at:
Garden and Hearth's Open Hearth Natural Living Section

Disclaimer:  All information on this site is for informational purposes only.  Before using any alternative remedy, begin any new exercise routine or otherwise start trying any of the recipes included on these pages, check with your primary health provider.  Many herbs, foods, and exercises can conflict with medications you are taking or have unknown side effects.

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