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The power of a breath

When was the last time you took a deep breath?

A moment of silence.  A deep breath. Feeling an inhale and the breath move down your throat to your body.  Your shoulders lifting, heart rate slowing, calmness fills you. The exhale pushes out the old energy and the inhale sparks your senses bringing new positive energy.

Being able to listen to your body, to stop your negative thought patterns, to recognize what you actually need takes practice.

Have you ever eaten a whole bag of chips, or come home from work, stood in front of the refrigerator or cupboard and gone into a food haze? You are eating everything you can and yet you are so unaware of the food you are eating. Does this happen to you? Have you ever eaten food you don’t like just because it is there? Does food have power over you or your life? You can start to change your food habits by becoming more aware. Are you actually hungry? Are you really tired? Did you just have a stressful meeting and now you are on your third donut and don’t even like them?

Food should be eaten to nourish the body, and help fuel your day but so often we eat it for emotional reasons.  Start to notice why you eat or overeat. Are you listening to hunger cues? If you are hungry, eat something. If you are not hungry, do whatever else it is you need.

To heal yourself and to change habits and behaviors you must first recognize what the problem is. Why do you feel anxious, tired, scared, happy, hungry, sad, or stressed?

Focusing on your breath can help you notice what your body needs. Start with a moment of silence. Turn off the radio. Close the office door. Shut off the television.  Start with a deep inhalation (take a deep breath).  With your eyes closed try to follow the air as it enters your throat, neck, and stomach. Feel your diaphragm expanding and your body relaxing. What is happening in your body? Do you feel calmer? Has your heart rate slowed, do you feel calmer? Feel your chest expand as your shoulders reach back, and then squeeze from your core and push out the air for an exhalation.  The exhale pushes out the old energy and the inhale enlivens the senses with new energy. Breathe in calmness, breathe out anxiety. Breathe in health, breathe out stress. Just breathe.

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