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How to Breathe - from the Health and Healing Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar is titled How to Breathe -

What you need to know - How to use your breath to calm your nerves and center your self.

What You Need to Know

The way that we breathe is tightly connected to the way that we feel.

When we are asleep or relaxed - our breath is regular and deep.

When we are nervous or frightened - our breath may be less regular and shallow - to the upper part of our chest.

It is easy to tell if we are breathing properly. But we mostly just don’t take the time to notice.

Just rest your hand on your lower belly - and watch.

If your breathing is relaxed - your hand will rise out as you take a breath in. It will fall back towards you - as you let your breath go.

If nervous or stressed, your hand may not move. Or it may move inwards - as you take your breath to the upper part of your chest.

The key to knowing the power of breath - is to see its connection to both body and mind.

The way that we feel affects the way that we breathe.

And the way that we breathe affects the way that we feel.

Breathe deeply to the lower part of your belly. Your mind will gradually settle - and your body relax.

Anxiety or stress disturbs this natural way to breathe. Our breath becomes shallow - and less regular.

And like many other stress related changes - poor breathing becomes just another habit.

But learning to breathe properly can help us to calm our nerves and to steady our mind.

Abdominal Breathing

The healthiest way to breathe is in through your nose - and to imagine that your breath sinks deeply to the bottom of your belly.

Find a few quiet moments - and learn the natural way of Abdominal Breathing.

Sit upright in a straight backed chair.

Place your hand on your lower belly - and take a breath in through your nose.

Breathe deeply into your belly - so that your hand rises outwards.

Then let your breath go - and to pass out again through your nose.

Breathe in through your nose - and deeply to your belly.

Then let your breath flow out of your nose on its own.

Your chest and shoulders do not need to move while you breathe. But you may feel your face, neck and shoulders relax - as you release the breath from your body.

Abdominal Breathing is a natural way to relieve our selves of the tension that we carry within our muscles.

Don’t pressure yourself or force your breath to your will. Just imagine your breath to sink deeply within your belly. Release your breath and relax.

Spend a few minutes each morning and night in quiet Abdominal Breathing.

You will quickly feel its benefit. And you will soon come to find it a natural way to breathe.

One Breath at a Time

Once you are used to Abdominal Breathing - you can call on it at any time during your day.

How often have you found your self - lost in worrisome thought - only to notice that your shoulders are tight and your breathing shallow?

Do you hold your breath - or forget to breathe - when stressed or when feeling pressured?

Take a breath in through your nose - and feel it sink deeply to your belly.

Then release your breath - and let it flow out of your nose on its own.

Do this again - and again. Feel your body relax and your mind settle.

Those who practice yoga or martial arts know the power of breath - and its link between body and mind.

A traditional saying is to live life - One Breath at a Time.

We breathe all day long - so we may as well do so in a way that is calming to us.

Take moments in your day - to check with your breath.

Breathe in through your nose - and deeply to your belly.

Feel your self relax - when you let this breath go. Remind your self that this is your natural way to breathe.
                                                    
Check in with your breath when you are waiting for an appointment - when you are walking down the street - or watching a movie.

Pause for a moment - and take a breath in. Let go - and relax.

Use Abdominal Breathing to ground your self in the day - to settle your mind and to calm your body.

In Summary

The way that we breathe is tightly connected to the way that we feel.

Let your breath sink deeply to the lowest part of your belly. Let go - and feel your body settle.

Learn Abdominal Breathing. Practice your skill - and carry it with you during your day.

Check in with your breath - anytime and anywhere. When pressured or stressed - you can use Abdominal Breathing to calm your body and to settle your mind.

Use your breath to ground your self in your day right now. And enjoy your day - One Breath at a Time.

You have now reached the end of How to Breathe.

Look for this and other Learning Seminars at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.