I started a journey a couple of months ago to be in the best shape I have ever been in my life by my next birthday which is in May. It seems like ever since I made that announcement the universe has been testing me to see how serious I actually am!
The first thing that happened was that one night I flipped over from my stomach to my back one night in bed and instantly felt a lightning bolt pain shoot through my back that kept me in bed for a week.
Then a couple of weeks later my computer crashed! Yup and of course I hadn’t done a backup.
About 10 days later I got bronchitis and ended up in bed another week. Humm what’s a girl to do?
Then this past weekend I end up in the emergency room with something called Rhabdomyolysis! Crazy sounding word isn’t it? Well basically it comes from the breakdown of muscle proteins. It can be caused by a variety of situations, everything from laying in one position for too long, metabolic issues, lack of oxygen to muscle tissue, and over-exertion.
My guess is that it came from over-exertion in the gym.
The pain started in my biceps and my arms began to swell and get red a few days after a workout. It’s a very scary situation because it can cause your kidneys to shut down.
As I lay there on the stretcher in the ER (I wanted my daughter to take pictures of me but she refused) it occurred to me that I was amazingly calm. Even when they poked and prodded trying to start an i.v. and draw blood I never broke a sweat.
You know why? Well the first reason is that I trust God and I know in the end all of these these things are happening for my higher good but the other reason is because I used my breath as a stress reliever.
The breath is one of the most useful tools we have to settle our mind and relieve stress. Stress and anxiety are such a major part of our fast paced society but there is a way to keep it to a minimum.
This advanced breathing technique is really quite simple and accessible to anyone, anywhere, any time.
It’s called Square Breath. It’s super easy to remember how to do because you do it just the way it sounds.
The beginning breath ratio is 4 x 4 x 4 x 4.
Easy right? Start with a really deep breath in and just release it.
Then seal your lips and:
- breathe in through your nose for 4 counts
- hold the inhale for 4 counts
- exhale through your nose for 4 counts
- hold the exhale of 4 counts
That’s one round. In as 5 rounds you can completely shift your mind towards more peaceful thoughts.
Here’s an audio guide for you. Go ahead and download it to your phone or computer and use it any time life seems to run away with you.