“Don’t forget to breath,” …how often have you heard that…especially when stressed or under pressure? “Take a deep breath” is one of the first things people say to calm others down and there is a very good reason for that.

Truth is, proper breathing is a valuable tool to keep our minds balanced and peaceful.

Efficient breathing is crucial for the delivery of oxygen required by the body to function properly and when you are anxious, you limit your breaths.

You can’t chill out if your body’s “fight-or-flight” engine is in full gear releasing adrenaline and stress hormones into your system. You must calm your sympathetic nervous system while triggering your parasympathetic nervous system, the one that controls rest and helps your muscles…including your mind to unwind.

There are several different types of breathing techniques that can be employed so there really is something for everyone it’s just a matter of trying them out and picking out what’s the most comfortable to do that produces the greatest results.

Breathing Techniques that help –

Each technique brings something a bit different to the table as far as the results your body gets out of it so pay attention to how your body is reacting.

For example:

Nadi Shodhana has been performed by yogis for eons of time. The purpose of this technique is balance…to balance and unite the left and right sides of the brain.

After assuming a comfortable position, hold the right thumb over the right nostril while inhaling deeply through the left nostril. When the inhalation reaches its peak, close the left nostril off with using your ring finger while exhaling through the right nostril.

Repeat the pattern of inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off using the right thumb and then exhaling through the left nostril. Repeat this process for two minutes or longer.

This breathing technique works to clear channels. It energizes you and makes you feel more awake so not a good choice before bedtime but great at crunch time.

Guided visualization: Is the process of breathing deeply while the mind is focused on positive images. These pleasant thoughts replace any negative images and psychologist Dr. Ellen Langer explains that “guided visualization helps put you in the place you want to be, rather than letting your mind go to the internal dialogue that is stressful.”

You can use this type of breathing techniques any place you can find a quiet spot to safely close your eyes and just allow your mind to let go (obviously not a good one while driving or performing any activity).

Progressive Relaxation: Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a technique that teaches you to relax your muscles through a two-step process of tensing particular muscle groups and then releasing the tension. When using breathing with this technique you maintain deep, slow breaths while focusing on tensing and relaxing each muscle group for about 2-3 seconds. Breathe in through the nose and while your muscles are tense hold for a count of 5 then release and breathe out through the mouth.

Caution…if you find yourself getting dizzy, simply adjust the amount of time you hold your breath…even a few seconds will work.

There will always be comfortable situations and uncomfortable situations in life. You can’t experience the good in life without balancing the scales. It’s not a matter of “if stress hits” …stress will hit…its more how you deal with this stress.

You cannot eliminate life’s play of ups and downs, or the frustrations of daily setbacks, but you take proactive take steps to effectively deal with them on a personal basis and put them in their place.

Breathing is such an integral part of staying calm and focused throughout the day that you can even download apps that help you stay focused and paced with your breathing no matter where you are.

You can begin now to take an personal active role in preventing killer diseases and increasing longevity by taking care of both your body and your mind. Every choice you make…every decision you make daily is either contributing to or destroying your health and your body.


Our chances of falling ill are lessoned and we get the extra strength to fight any invader that gets through. It’s a good thing.

It’s time to honor your personal health. Improved overall health, weight loss, energy, positive mental attitude, and longevity are some of the benefits gained by keeping our immune system humming and working in tip-top shape.

“Wellness Wake Up Call”     can help you to achieve your best “health report card ever.”

For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit:

Carolyn Hansen Fitness


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