At times when we feel totally under siege, our first reaction to the suggestion of a breathing exercise can be, ‘Breathing? Please. Someone get me a Valium.’
Bestselling author Brené Brown tells a great story about how she resisted the idea of breathing exercises for years, thinking they were pointless and couldn’t possibly work, until finally, she asked a Navy SEAL how he kept calm in situations of extreme life-threatening pressure. His answer? The breathing exercise below.
You can do this ritual anywhere – at work, on public transport, or in the car. No one will be able to tell you’re doing it, so remember that pausing and paying attention are possible anywhere.
- Inhale to a count of four
- Hold the breath to a count of four
- Exhale to a count of four
- Hold the exhalation to a count of four
- Repeat for a full minute, or more
If it works for a Navy SEAL, it just might work for you too.