When you’re ready to give your life a turbo boost of positive power, remember, it turns out that the fastest and most powerful way to get your brain and body out of stress and anxiety isn’t to work on your MIND, but to use your BREATH.

Breathing correctly can instantly shift the state of your mind. Anxiety, worry, stress, and negative thinking are often underpinned by fear. Fear is an emotion and any emotion cannot exist without a sensation and a change in your breathing pattern. All  you have to do is address the sensation of fear by changing your breathing pattern.

Technique 1 – Breathe

  • Place your right hand on your chest in the heart region and your left hand on top of the right hand
  • Now just notice that sensation of fear – your heart beating faster, maybe a feeling of tightness in the area
  • Take a deep breath in through the nose, fill up your lungs. This will push your hands forwards and outwards as your chest expands
  • Breathe out through the mouth – pursing your lips as if you were breathing out through a fat straw. Make the outbreath longer than the in breath.
  • When you breath out squeeze the stomach and chest area in
  • Feel the energy and notice when your body starts to relax
  • Do this 12 to 15 times
  • Then relax – rest your hands on your lap, palms open and facing up to the sky
  • Sit for a minute or two, and notice how your whole system has calmed down
  • Slowly open your eyes

Technique 2 – Shift the Energy

You know how stress, anxiety, worry and fear can make your head feel heavy and tight like a rock? To get rid of that weight …

  • Place the fingertips of both hands lightly on your forehead – knuckles touching
  • Take a deep breath in through the nose
  • As you breath out through the mouth, draw the finger tips lightly from the middle of your forehead towards the temples and ears
  • Now place your fingertips a little higher on the forehead, more on the hairline.
  • Again breathe in, and as you breathe out draw the fingertips across your head to the sides of the head, towards the ears
  • Continue like this from the front to the back of the head, as if you are combing your whole head with your fingertips.
  • You’ll experience a whole shift in the sensations in your head and in your energy

Technique 3 – Shake it Off

  • Part 1 – Ideally while standing, stretch your body as if you just woke up
  • Make your arms long and stretch up to the sky and to the sides. Move your body, twist gently too.
  • Raise your arms up and open them wide, opening the whole chest area, like you a greeting the heavens
  • Now bring your hands in front of your body and shake them – shaky shaky … keep it going
  • While still shaking your hands shake your shoulders, and shake your body
  • Do this for 5 breaths
  • You’ll see how this ‘shakes it off’ and your mood shifts
  • Part 2 – you can boost the benefit by getting your blood flow going
  • standing, push up on your toes, and then back on your heels … continue toes and heels, toes and heels
  • This gets the calf muscles to pump the blood up from your legs and helps your heart get things moving
  • You can swing your arms up and down in rhythm if you like
  • Do this for a minute or so

BONUS: if you do this with bare feet on the beach or the lawn you’ll get even more benefit. (even just walking barefoot on the earth gives you a boost of positive energy)

To have Dinesh, an Art of Living teacher, guide you through these exercises while explaining how and why they work – click here and follow the video on Youtube.

Simple things can make a big difference when we DO them. Just knowing about them makes no difference.

For Art of Living Courses in SA https://www.artofliving.org/za-en#

Here you learn how to rewire your nervous system’s baseline levels of stress and anxiety by training your body to breathe optimally. Did you know over 80% of people AREN’T breathing optimally?

And in the meantime, there are also simple things that we can do to make an immediate difference, to rapidly get your body and mind out of stress mode.

By Elizabeth Meiring