I learned this way too late.
I recently learned about a cure-all.
Reduces anxiety? Check!
Improves confidence? Check!
Helps you think clearly and make better decisions? Check!
Aides in your daily mindfulness practice? Check!
Improves your workout routine? Check!
Better sex (for men and women!)? Check check!
Oh, and if that list isn’t enough, it’s free and infinitely available.
It’s your breath.
For most of my life, I didn’t hear much about breathing.
Then in the last year, it seems like everywhere I turned I picked up a new nugget about the importance of the breath.
Breathing is something that happens with and without our intention or control. It’s a bridge between our conscious and unconscious minds.
From my SCUBA instructor, to a meditation teacher, to my taxi driver (the lung researcher), to reading about Wim Hof, to an article on how David Blaine holds his breath for so long… each of these interactions reiterated the power of breathing with intention and the fact that I could be intentional about mine.
Once I started to understand the importance of breathing, I tried to become much more aware of my breath — not just in meditation or when out of breath from exercising, but in small moments throughout the day.
Like right now, when I’m sitting at my laptop writing this email... am I breathing in through my nose, deeply into my solar plexus? Or am I taking short breaths through my mouth into my chest? Am I holding in the new oxygen or quickly exhaling? What is the rate of my inhales?
It’s an incredible practice that only takes micro-moments of reflection throughout the day — but can make a difference in how I feel.
To start, right now take the deepest breath you’ve taken all day — slowly and deeply into your solar plexus. Then exhale gradually and with intention.
Gift yourself some nice breaths today!
P.S. Our Resilience Guide contains more guidance along with a 30-Day Challenge to help you kickstart a habit of intentional breathing. Get access to this guide and more through the Holstee Membership →