SK Doctoroff Counseling and Therapy in Southfield Michigan


Comments Off on Breathe
Posted by Stacy Doctoroff on 7/30/2014


Stop! Before you read this take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
How did that feel?  Is this the first time today that you have truly taken an opportunity to take a breath?

Each day we run through life going from meeting to meeting; store to store; blog to blog; or one kid’s activity to the next kid’s activity. During this frantic pace, we forget to stop and just breathe.

What is the impact on us when we don’t stop; when we don’t take in that deep relaxing breath?

Steve Sisgold’s article Breathe: your life depends on it (Psychology Today, June 2012) gives us an understanding of the positive affects breathing has on us if we take in a deep breath closer to our abdomen. This is what activates the part of our nervous system that slows down our heart rate (Parasympathetic Nervous System) thus allowing the age old adage, “just take a breath and feel better.”

How many scenarios, already today, have you had when your heart is racing along with your mind? During these times we have a tendency to react instinctively and then look back and regret what we may have said or done. If we would only have stopped, taken a deep breath, given ourselves just that extra minute or perspective….what would the outcome then look like? Maybe, less aggravation with a co-worker, a spouse or child or, a stronger feeling of productivity? 

Breathing is not the answer to all life’s problems but it gives us an opportunity to also help lower our anxiety levels. Leslie Becker – Phelps Ph.d. encourages readers in her article Stop Your Anxiety Now! (Psychology Today, May 2013) to try “square breathing” — imagine building a square as you inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for 5 seconds. This type of breathing technique, one of many, gives us the opportunity, during what we feel is a fight or flight situation, to calm ourselves down and make behavioral and emotional choices based on calm feelings as oppose to those feelings we have when our heart is racing.

Stop! Take a deep breath, count to five, and exhale.  Don’t you already feel better?

Remember, if you need help with your stresses and with learning the art of breathing I am here for you.  Just call, make an appointment and together we can make your life stresses easier to handle. 


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