This paper is about an exercise I do every day in order to keep balance in my life. It is something I practice that works for me. I usually practice deep breathing once per day at bedtime and for three months solid. I then change the routine to morning hours where again I practice the deep breathing once per day for three months. I alternative the times between morning and night every three months. During extreme periods of strees I will practice deep breathing three times per day (morning, noon and night). I started deep breathing when I was very young in my early twenties and I can directly account this exercise to my success. About 8 years ago when I moved to China, I stopped doing the regular practice of deep breathing for some reason and I my success was reduced. Then a few months ago I started again and now success is coming back for me.
Below I have written down the basics of the routine but these can be modified to fit the person. I decided to write this today so others can share in my success. It is a humble way to be a better person. This is an exercise to gain perceptive called “deep breathing”. I learned how to do this exercise “deep breathing” after reading a few books on the subject when I was young. It took me a couple of months of doing it every day before I enjoyed the many benefits. Nothing here is original and there are lots of books on the subject but really if you just do what I say here you will be enjoying a better life in a short period of time. JP
Now We Begin
To start, I lie on my back in bed to begin the exercise. Really when doing deep breathing laying or sitting both work. The idea is to just get comfortable in any position and put your hands on your chest and stomach or at the side. I like the laying down because I also incorporate exercise in my routine that is best done when lying down. For example I do crunches and head lifts during the deep breathing meditation for more benefits.
To maximize oxygen intake, it’s important to learn to breathe from your abdomen “belly breathing” rather than your chest. Focus on your breath until you feel your stomach rise and fall more dramatically than your chest with each inhalation and exhalation.
Breathe in through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth. Breathe out very hard, exhale every single ounce of breath. At first this will be difficult as you will cough and possibility you will bring up some flem (so keep a towel by your side if this happens). If you do not cough you are not letting out enough air. After a few weeks neither the flem nor coughing will be an issue. The time it takes to exhale should be about twice the time of what it is to inhale. (Maybe – 4 to inhale, 7 to hold, and 10 to exhale.) Let go of all other thoughts while you breathe. Do this every day or night at the same time. If you are really serious or dealing with issues maybe you can practice the routine three times a day. It is important to practice the routine at the same time daily (the reason for the same time every day is that you are building a routine). For the normal person one time per day is enough.
It is okay to just focus on your breathing but for the best benefit most people prefer incorporating a simple repetitive phrase known as a mantra. Repeat the mantra as you breathe out to get in the rhythm. A mantra is just a simple word. Like a number for example. Say you choose the number one. Then every time you breath out you say “one” either out loud or to yourself. You could choose as your mantra a word instead of a number. As a word for our example let’s choose the word “relax” as your mantra. Again as you breathe out our repeat the mantra (either out loud or to yourself) and in our example the word is “relax”. It does not matter what word you select, just say that same word, number or phrase as you breathe out. A sample phrase could be “Today is my good lucky day” or “today I enjoy great happiness”. Most people like one word but sentences such as the ones in these examples work very well.
This is the first stage of deep breathing in the second stage you can add more and receive even greater benefits. I will give examples of two things to add to your routine. One is exercise and the other is “self-talk”.
So to begin you will always start with your mantra. People are different for me it takes about one to five minutes before I get in deep relaxation (this depends on factors in my life that day). After you feel relaxed you can add more to the routine. Each session should last at least ten (10) minutes. However I usually do 20 minute sessions. I have gone as long as one hour. After you really get your body used to the routine you can even add background music (I do this).
Examples of Exercise that can be added
Let’s talk exercises: The easiest exercise to add is abdominal exercises such as leg lifts and head lifts. You keep the same pattern of breaking going as you do these exercises. Many exercises can be added such as leg lifts: Just use your imagination to add exercises. You can even incorporate light weights. The key is to keep your mind clear. With the idea of staying in rhythm do not use heavy weights or you will lose the rhythm of the breathing and the benefits of the deep breathing.
Example of Self talk that can be added
These are positive statements you repeat to yourself as you breathe out. You only say these as you breathe out. These statements replace the mantra word once you get into the rhythm. You can either say these out loud or think (just stay in rhythm). Below you will find examples of things I say and you can add your own.
- Today I feel great
- I am very lucky to be me
- I always made wise decisions
- I have good common sense
- People like me and respect me
- I am a good listener
- I love to read and I stay informed
- I enjoy excellent health
- I make a good friend
- I am wise with money
- I am very organized
- I eat healthy food
- I have great judgment
- I love myself
- I give love and respect to others
- I am a great communicator
- I am a good business person
- I am always honest and fair to others
- I respect my body
- I get enough sleep
- I wake up with lot of energy
- I wake up with a great attitude
- I always have a good attitude.
- I trust my instinct.
- I am always on time
- I listen to others
- I am organized
- I give myself 100%
- I accept gifts with love
- I show appreciation to others
- Good health is normal for me
- I enjoy my life
- I appreciate my friends
- I am calm in all situation
- I am very happy with who I am.
- I love myself and I am surrounded by people who care about me.
Why not give it a try? It takes about six to eight weeks of daily practice to get in rhythm and to maximize the benefits. Just stay with it and you will enjoy a better more healthy life.
By John M. Probandt