Learning to Breathe

February 11th, 2009

There are several things in my life right now that I can’t get a handle on. The tasks just seem impossible. I am having a hard time “enjoying the journey.” This is making my recovery difficult. Sometimes things feel so overwhelming it is hard to breathe. My therapist helped me with a breathing technique that has helped me. It goes as follows:
1. Breathe in slowly counting to four with your mouth open wide.
2. Hold that breath and count to four.
3. Exhale through the nose slowly releasing the breath by counting down by four.
4. Rest for 4 seconds and do the whole exercise again.
I don’t know if it is the breathing, counting, or focusing but it just has helped me the last few days. I don’t think the thought ever occurred to me that I might not know how to breathe. The more I pay attention to my breath the more I realize it has been shallow and made by anxiety. This has helped to slow my breath and calm me down.

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