Becoming Aware of Your Breathing

A simple act such as breathing could reduce your stress.  The key is to become aware of your breathing.

For example, you are driving on the highway and a rude driver cuts you off then goes slow in front of you.  You become irate and want to kill that person.  Usually when this happens, your breath becomes shorter and you breathe faster.  You’re now not aware of yourself.  You are only aware of the other person.

In these situations, you need to become aware of yourself and how you will respond to this.  What’s the benefit of you tailgating that person or shouting insults?  They will only defend themselves and the situation will escalate.  If nothing happened, then be thankful that nothing happened and allow that other person to get themselves into an accident (this usually happens to reckless drivers).

Take control of your breathing – whether you’re driving, at the office, or commuting.

When you breathe, make sure you are taking a full breath and exhaling a full breath.  Become aware of your breathing during the day and make sure you’re not taking short breaths or holding your breath.

There are some steps to take to become more aware of your breathing:

  1. Before starting your car or beginning your commute, take 10 deep breaths.
  2. When you are involved in a stressful situation (argument, driving, meeting, etc.) take 3 deep breaths.  This will help you become aware of yourself when stress strikes.  This will hopefully lead to self-control and you won’t allow yourself to get into a situation you will regret.
  3. When you sleep at night, focus on your breathing and try not to think of the stresses of the past day.  If you cannot sleep due to stress, create a plan of attack to remove that stress from your life.  Do this immediately no matter how late it is.  You’ll feel better with 6 hours of sleep than 8 hours of interrupted sleep.
  4. Develop points during the day when you promise to yourself that you’ll become aware of your breathing.  For example, you can check your breathing when you wake up, during lunchtime, and  before you sleep.