Welcome to today’s lesson on how to breathe better. You’re doing just great at working your way through this course!
Have you ever run out of breath while you are talking? Maybe you aren’t happy with the way your voice sounds when you are presenting or public speaking. You’re certainly not alone! But it could be as simple as adjusting your breathing.
Many of us hold our breath when we talk, we really do! And, this can make us rush what we’re saying and become more anxious.
I want you to take a lovely deep breath and let it out when you need to.
Do it two more times. And now, once more.
Before a presentation, or speaking to a crowd taking three deep breaths is critical in making you focused. It makes you feel calm, and it helps with nervousness.
When you’re speaking, do you consciously adjust your breathing?
If you’re not thinking about this, then you should try to breathe on punctuation. If you don’t do this, what happens is you end up taking breathes in the middle of sentences.
So you’re talking and talking and talking, and then you take a breath.
This means your breathing in your chest and your throat. Really, you should be breathing in the whole of your upper body. Deep breaths calm your body and show it that everything is okay. This is especially important when we’re feeling uneasy and apprehensive.
Breathing well can make a huge difference in how you operate in many areas of your life. It can heighten performance and concentration. It’s also a powerful stress reliever.
Now, I’m going to take you through an exercise called box breathing. This is a quick and easy exercise that you can do anywhere—and at any time. When I perform this exercise, I’m left with a calm body and an alert, focused state of mind even for five minutes.
1. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your hands relaxed in your lap with your palms facing up.
2. Slowly exhale, getting all the oxygen out of your lungs. Focus on this intention and be conscious of what you’re doing.
3. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to the count of four. Feel the air fill your lungs, one section at a time until your lungs are full and the air moves into your abdomen.
4. Hold your breath for another slow count of four.
5. Exhale through your mouth for the same slow count of four, expelling the air from your lungs and abdomen. Be conscious of the air leaving your lungs.
6. Hold your breath for the same count of four before repeating the process.
How does that feel?
Once you’re breathing calmly, correctly, and naturally using your whole upper body. Your voice will begin to sound different.
The best way to check that you’re doing it correctly is to record yourself on your phone. And practice, practice, and practice again. If you practice often, the better you will sound and more comfortable and habitual it will become.
Your task: I want you to try another breathing exercise. Just sit for five minutes and breathe in and out. Notice your thoughts, feelings, or emotions. Try to feel the separation between you and your emotions—don’t attach to an emotion. Recognize it and let it drift away.
In the next lesson; we’ll learn about stopping procrastinating and why we all do it.
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