Do you hold your breath as you concentrate on something? I’ve seen people hold their breath when doing strenuous exercises or when they get nervous or tense. Several months ago I flew in an airplane for the first time in over 25 years. I was anxious about it, to say the least. It wasn’t that I was afraid of crashing — I was, instead, afraid of being afraid. I feared that I would be overcome with, well, fear. I have often suggested to others to remind themselves to breathe. It sounds funny to have to be reminded to breathe, but when we don’t breathe deeply, we are denying our cells (including the ones in our brains) the oxygen they need for optimal performance. I took my own advice and focused on breathing when I felt that first little bit of turbulence. I made it through two flights by simply reminding myself to breathe. Use calming breathing techniques throughout your day. Remind yourself. You will be amazed at the difference in the results of interactions if you intentionally breathe before phone calls that may be anxiety producing, before speaking at a meeting, and before addressing a person whom you know is difficult. I’m reminding myself today to breathe.

Author: Toni Limbers

I am the Professional & Staff Development Manager for Steptoe & Johnson PLLC and director of music for Christ Episcopal Church. The content of this blog is mine and mine alone and is not intended to reflect on my employers' opinions or directives in any way. In real life I am a wife, mother and a MiMi.

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