My Secret Weapon Against Stress and Pain

Early one morning, I pulled a muscle in my back taking off my sweater. That's how it always goes, you hurt your back doing almost nothing at all.
During the day that followed, I tried everything: hot shower, Advil, lying down, a heating pad... it still hurt. I even tried meditating, but couldn't concentrate. By late afternoon, I was frustrated and stressed out.
And then came an answer...
Lying on the floor, I suddenly knew what to do. I closed my eyes and counted slowly to six as I inhaled; then I counted to six as I exhaled. Assuming each number was a second apart, this pattern translated into five breaths a minute (12 seconds per breath x 5 = 60), which is much slower than I was breathing before.
After a few minutes of this, the magic kicked in.
My stress level eased... my back muscles stopped clenching. My hands and feet started to tingle, in a good way. In a few more minutes, I naturally started counting to eight or even nine on each inhale and exhale. The more my breathing slowed, the better I felt.
Since that day, I named this trick Deep Six. It works when you are stressed out, or in pain, or ready to chew someone's head off. Why? Because when you slow your breathing, you make it nearly impossible to be stressed, anxious or upset.
There are many reasons why Deep Six is such a versatile solution, but let me name just a few:
  • You don't have to close your eyes, lie down, change your clothes, or empty your mind to do it.
  • You can do it in a meeting or while taking a walk.
  • You can do it while watching TV or lying in bed.
  • You can do it without almost anyone noticing, except for the perceptive types who pick up on the fact that you have relaxed significantly.
Deep Six is amazingly simple. You just:
  1. Count slowly to at least six on each inhale and exhale.
  2. Keep your in and out breathing the same length.
That's it. You don't have to empty your mind, picture yourself in a beautiful setting, or chant. Your goal isn't to reach nirvana, it's simply to slow down your breathing; your body will do the rest.
Someone is certain to ask, "How long should I do this?" You should do it until you feel better and you can pull yourself away from that feeling. For me, this usually means somewhere between five and 20 minutes. But sometimes I just take a couple of breaths in this pattern, usually when I feel myself start to tighten up.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!