Founder Story: Elements
The first thing I noticed when I first started learning breathing practices actually kind of left me in disbelief. I learned I was a shallow breather.
So of course I didn’t believe this at first... “How could I be doing something wrong that’s so fundamental to my survival, so physiological and basic as breathing?” But I was. On a regular basis through most of my day, I took too small of breaths, or I would even not really breathe at all. I would especially do this when I was stressed or deep in thought. It’s like I naturally neglected this basic physiological process. In doing so, my shallow breathing only took what was already an unhealthy situation for my body and made it MORE unhealthy. Shallow breathing deprived my whole body of the oxygen it needed to give me energy, it kept tense what needed to be relaxed, and more damage. In those moments, my body felt all scrunched up and weak. And now I know why.
It wasn’t until I started learning breathing practices that I noticed this. The simple act of regularly paying conscious attention to this thing – breathing – that I did in the background my whole life with basically no thought or attention paid… This simple act caused me to notice my breathing at OTHER times throughout the day. I would be sitting at my desk working, then suddenly realize, “Oh man, I’m not breathing at all right now. How long have I not been breathing?!”
When it comes to breathing practices, I keep it simple, and that’s okay. Everyone’s different. There are a TON of different breathing practices out there, many of which are provided in our Finding Your Breathing Practice post. And although I’ve tried many, I constantly return to 3-5-7 and Box Breathing, or 4-4-4-4. I’ll do it when I first wake up, right before bed, and any time throughout the day that I’m feeling stressed out, nervous, anxious, or anything where I know breathing will help me. Sometimes I have to give speeches in front of big groups, which is NOT something that comes naturally to me. I LOVE having my breathing practice as my tool that I can do right before to relieve my anxiety and help me relax and rebuild confidence. And that’s just one of many practical applications where a breathing practice has helped me.
I hope you give some breathing practices a try and find one or two that suits your needs. I think you’ll find that when you find the one, it’ll stick with you for the rest of your life.
I’ve long since given up soda and am a lifelong water drinker. But I had always been duped by the wives’ tale that there was this quota of 64 ounces a day, or I had also heard “my body weight divided by two in ounces.” It was a relief to learn that that’s not necessary – that all that matters is you drink the amount of water that your body needs. I now own a water bottle I love (from Larq) and usually fill it about twice a day. While I’m not strict with myself about that quota, I often find myself either low energy or even have a headache, only to realize that I’m behind my normal intake. I “catch up” a little and I quickly find that I’m feeling great again! In other words, I listen to my body and I react!
Oh, and I start every morning by downing a big glass of water. I attached it to my wake up routine by pouring the glass the night before and leaving it on my nightstand. Highly recommend!