January 5, 2019 In The Healthy Professional
Nicole’s Breathing Tricks
I might be your Wellness Coach, but I also have many moments when it’s a challenge to get into a meditative/calm state. I would estimate that 90% of the time, these 3 tips have worked for me:
- On the inhale, I visualize breathing in clean or ice blue coloured air. To me, that colour or clarity signifies pristine, clean, positive air. I want clean, healthy oxygen coming INTO my body. (It also helps to envision that clean oxygen going to all cells of your body from your fingertips to your toes, or to focus on breathing into a specific area on which you’d like to focus.) Then on the exhale, when I’m breathing out carbon dioxide from my body, I pretend that the breath is exhaling anything toxic, negative, heavy, which is why I picture it looking like smoke from a cigarette. My goal is to keep exhaling so much so that eventually the carbon dioxide is clean, is no longer smoky, which signifies the toxins are out of my body. In addition, on my exhales, I breathe out so deeply and purposefully that my goal is to get rid of every last ounce of smoke. This extreme exhale where you aim to get out the very last breath, also forces you to relax your upper thoracic (breastbone) area, which I find physically forces the last bit of my body to relax. I usually do this laying down but you can do sitting also, or while you’re standing at a walk light or anywhere else.
- With this next suggestion, you have to understand that we are all made of energy particles that are interacting with each other 24/7. I usually do this one when laying down or seated. I turn my palms up and close my eyes. I don’t focus so much on my breathing as much as I do on imagining my hands and fingertips starting to merge with the air around me. It’s almost like I’m trying to become a part of my environment. If I can focus on visualizing my hands, fingertips and eventually my legs, toes, shoulders, back etc merging with the particles around me, I will almost always start to feel a tingling in my fingertips and usually my hands will warm up (and if you know me, you know my hands are usually on the colder side).
- I will typically use this 3rd option if I have pain, which for me, would come in the form of a headache. I find that it helps relieve pressure in my head and on my eyes if I close my eyes and look at the inside of my forehead. Many would call this a ‘third eye’, though for me, it was just a fluke that I realized I was looking at the inside of my forehead. For me, it’s about relieving the pressure on my eyeballs and kind of letting them sink back a bit where they don’t feel so strained. Often, I will fall asleep and wake up without the headache.