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Learn to Really Breathe

When you are hassled, your breathing becomes shallow and your brain is deprived of much-needed oxygen. No wonder you can't think! Try this cleansing breath technique.

  • Close your door or go to a quiet place. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat and your spine straight. Close your eyes and place your hand just above your waist. Now inhale slowly — to the count of six — and feel the air inflate your rib cage, as if it were a balloon pushing against your hand. Relax your chest or lower your shoulders.
  • Hold for two seconds in the inflated state. Now, slowly exhale to the count of six, letting your "balloon" empty slowly and your hand sink closer to your spine. Let any tension in your neck and shoulders melt away. Say, "ahhhhh" silently, or "God," "peace," or "yes."
  • Repeat for a total of eight deep breaths (in two to four minutes).
When your mind is in overdrive, take a breather — literally!
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A series of "quick-lifts" excerpted from Recharge in Minutes, ©2003, by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.

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