Relaxation & Stress: How Often Is Your Breathing Interrupted?

It seems likely to me that your breathing patterns are regularly interrupted.

I know that mine are. Even though I meditate once or twice daily, and even though I practice full, deep breathing throughout the day, my attention still drifts. I get distracted.

I will say, however, that the daily practice of breathing I’ve taken on over the last two years have been life-changing.

So, whether you choose mindfulness meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi, or just some simple numeric breathing exercises, whichever the method, just get started.

This might be more important than food.

People in the Blue Zones don’t live to 100 years old just because they eat well.

They’re also not stressed out.

If your constantly stressed out, even at a very low level, there’s really no telling how many years that’s taking off your life. The effects might be profound.

Tai Chi Grandmaster William C.C. Chen wrote this in 2006:

“As we live in this disorderly, chaotic, unpredictable and very stressful world, we are constantly thinking, doing or worrying about something. It is almost inevitable that the mind becomes restless.  When mental activity spikes up, the increasing fullness of the mind always interrupts exhalation.  Whether we are at home or in the office, when we go to answer the phone or we reach to pick up a pen or a piece of paper, or when we want to do anything at all, even in sleep, when the nightmare wakes us up, we inhale.  Even though we should continue with an exhalation to clear the lungs for more inhalation, we inhale more than we exhale on a daily, hourly, or moment-by-moment basis.  Because our daily inhalations and exhalations are out of balance, we need to be aware of how to breathe, Breathing, awareness and movement are intertwined, and understanding the significance of how all three interact can yield profound mental and physical benefits.”

The good news is that, even though the world will, in many ways continue to grow more stressful, you don’t have to subscribe to that.

You can do six cycles of 6-3-6 breathing today, right after you read this post, for free.

(That’s: 6 seconds inhale, 3 seconds hold, 6 seconds exhale, all repeated 6 times.)

That will take you a few minutes, reset your brain, and, get you started down the other path – the path of relaxation.

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