breathing deep


credit- andriehvitimus

credit- andriehvitimus

“If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.”  —Andrew Weil

“Shallow breathing is a reaction to the unyielding stress of modern life—and is itself a cause of further stress, which leads to more shallow breathing. To stop this downward spiral of shallow breathing and stress—even in the midst of the daily mayhem—I can take three or four deep breaths and enter an upward spiral of deep breathing and calm… All I need to do is gently, without strain, fill up the space of my belly, and then slowly and tenderly breathe out.

I take a first belly breath—breathing slowly and deeply, expanding my stomach as I breathe in—and I focus on centering, on being present in the here and now. I take a second deep belly breath, and while doing so focus on my purpose—whether for that day or for my life as a whole. The third deep breath is dedicated to something for which I’m grateful—thinking about a family member, a meeting I had or am about to have, or anything else.

The physiological impact of deep breathing, coupled with the cognitive component of focusing on something positive, provides a powerful technique that can change the way you feel. The technique is particularly effective in bringing about calm and joy if you do it a few times a day.”

Excerpt from Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness , copyright © Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, 2014. See more.

sunday morning, 10 a.m.

Sitting on a large flat rock
that overhangs pond water
an invitation to perch,
plunge, ponder how grounded

I feel, butt to stone, feet
before me solid at the edge
of still water ruffled
by occasional breeze riffling

chirped morning trills, cheeps
and distant crowing of awake.
A stillness hangs in the warmth,
air barely astir tho abuzz with bee,

fly, hornet and gnat. I walked
through spider thread, ranging hens,
still settling-down honeybees
re-trusting their hive post-black-bear.

Calm settles through me,
at one with air, at peace.
Each hour I let go more; each
left I honor and release.