Please listen to the audio above, but if needed, here is a transcript:
I started meditating for two reasons. One, I’ve always been curious about it and wanted to try something new. But more importantly I wanted to see if it could help my anxiety. Sometimes meditating helps, sometimes it doesn’t.
But, what helps me the most is simply deep breathing.
There are a lot of breathing techniques out there. So many in fact, that I can’t name them. I can’t remember the names of them. Partially because I think sometimes one person will call the same technique one name and the next person will slightly change it up and call it something else. But, also, I can never remember these things because I have an interesting memory. I’ll just put it like that. I’m learning to love myself and not worry about certain issues and so I like to avoid saying that my memory is awful. But, it is not always great. Short and long term memory. My memory has always been, not the greatest, ever since I can remember. I would forget things like my jacket at school all the time as a kid. And memorizing facts for an exam in school, although I’d get it done, I believe was most likely harder for me than others.
Anyway, this isn’t a therapy session, or at least not that kind, let’s get back on track. My point is, there are a lot of breathing exercises and I can never remember what they are called or which one is best for me. Until now.
One more thing before I explain it. If you’ll notice I said, best for me. This may not be the best way for you. Everyone is different.
The technique that works best for me is extremely simple. You breathe out longer than you breathe in. That’s it. Isn’t that crazy simple? That’s why I can remember it and it truly helps my anxiety.
It has a fancy name, breathing out longer... but I didn’t even bother to look it up before doing this recording because it doesn’t matter. I don’t care about fancy names or strict rules when it comes to things like this.
There are similar techniques where you count. Count in for so many seconds, hold for so many seconds, and breathe out for so many seconds. Notice I keep saying, “for so many seconds,” because I swear I’ve seen at least 3 or 4 different versions and there are probably more. Some people say to count to 4, some say 8, some say 5... how am I supposed to remember the best way?
Luckily, what I will now finish sharing with you is unforgettable. Because again, you simply breathe out longer than you breathe in. And hold a bit in between. How long? It doesn’t matter, find the lengths of time and depth that works best for you.
Ok, here we go, finally the actually exercise. Here’s what I do:
I breathe in very deeply and hold, then I start very slowly letting the air out. I do this several times. By the end I’m usually so relaxed and smiling.
Again, everyone is different and so if you start getting dizzy or something, maybe slightly change how long you are holding in between. Or, change how slow you are breathing out. There’s no wrong way to do this. Breathe out longer than you breathe in.
So, let’s do this 5 times together. Get comfortable. Close your eyes. Or don’t. Ready?
Breathe in very deep relatively fast. Hold. Breathe out nice and slow. Breathe in. Hold. Slowly let the air back out. Breathe in. Hold. Slowly out. Breathe. Hold. Slow exhale. One last time. Breathe in. Hold. And out... slowly...