Breathing deeply is a simple and at the same time a very powerful method. Breathing more deeply, and thereby enhancing the amount of oxygen in your brain is more than just a technique you apply in emergencies, like before public speaking. That might even be the reason why you dismiss this tip too easily as shallow, because if you apply it only in case of an emergency you will miss its benefits. And the usual advice – to take a deep breath – is not what you want to do before, say, public speaking. Actually, it is the other way around.
A practice for your day to day life
To benefit from breathing more deeply, it's advisable to practice at times when you think you don't need it. At first you may want to set aside some time to practice. Later on, try to practice when you do something else as well, like reading or watching television. In that way you will be able to integrate breathing deeply in your day to day life more easily. Now here is how to do it:
Don't take a deep breath
Instead of taking a deep breath, you start by exhaling completely, until you have emptied your lungs. Now you do nothing. Simply wait for the inhalation to come. The inhalation will probably be a deep breath, but it will feel naturally and, what is more, it will be exactly the right amount of oxygen you need. You won't put yourself at risk of hyperventilation. After that, you more or less observe your breath and pay attention to your stomach. It should swell outward a little bit. Instead of deliberately breathing more deeply, you can relax your stomach. Thus, deeper breaths will be more natural.
Benefit from this technique
The reward of breathing more deeply is a calmer, relaxed state of mind. In the medium run you will be able to deal with unpleasant thoughts and feelings much better, cope with stress and even handle anxiety. And if you want to overcome low self-esteem you pave the way for your real, true self, your Natural Self. Do not thrust aside this method prematurely. You might not yet know how you will benefit from it.
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