Breathe

Boatloads of exciting behind-the-scenes things are taking place as we—publisher, publicist, and author—ramp up for the November 1 release of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path for Gratitude and Growth. It’s exhilarating. One might even say, breathless.

With this in mind, Crystal—my publicist at BookSparks—sent me a visible reminder to breathe. In turn, I’m sharing a breathing exercise from Note to Self that has never failed to produce calm for me:

4-7-8 BREATHING

  • Place a hand on your lower belly to ensure that you’re breathing past your chest.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose while mentally counting to 4.
  • Hold that breath for a mental count of 7.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth while mentally counting to 8. Notice that the exhalation is twice as long as the inhalation.
  • Pause briefly, without inhaling, and then start another round. This natural pause is therapeutic and relaxing.
  • Once you’ve established a rhythm, identify a replacement attitude. Imagine that with each inhalation, you’re breathing in the color orange and the feeling of that new attitude—increasing joy.
  • When you exhale, imagine that you’re releasing the toxins associated with the unwanted emotion—offloading baggage.
  • Repeat for several minutes, drawing the orange breath and replacement feeling down into your lower belly to anchor the new feeling.

When was the last time you focused on your breath?

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