When I worked in senior living, Ed, a 75-year-old resident, used to tell other residents, “If you’re going to be blue, be a bright blue!” I thought, wow, what a great way to turn a frown upside down!
“Feeling blue” is a phrase that refers to feeling sad, down, or depressed. But, I use it to refer to all negative emotions. Therefore, feeling frustrated, stressed, angry, worried, anxious, nervous, fearful, embarrassed, pressured, or uncomfortable in any way are all ways of feeling blue.
There's nothing wrong with having or expressing emotions. Emotions serve a powerful purpose in our lives, especially the negative ones. They act as check engine lights, indicating where we might need help or healing.
But, sometimes you want to be able to control these emotions. In other words, there's a time and a place for expressing emotions. When negative emotions start to negatively impact your life or effect your ability to move forward, it's time to take back your power.
Breathwork is a simple but effective self-care tool for taking back your power. How often do you hear people say, “OK, just take a breath” when someone is flying off the handle? Breathing exercises can help calm your mind, relax your body, and reset your mindset.
We all know how vital oxygen is to life. Via the bloodstream, oxygen travels to the organs, tissues (muscles), and glands to help them function properly. Therefore, oxygen optimizes overall health and well-being.
So, why not use oxygen to your advantage? The key to regaining control is gaining calmness. By slowing your breath, and taking in more oxygen, more oxygen goes to your brain. This helps relax the mind, creating a safer space to think clearly. Thinking clearly leads to acting calmly. As a result, your reactions and responses to people and situations will be more controlled and positive. Positive actions lead to positive results. Therefore, breathwork can help you feel more in control when it feels like life is spinning out of control.
What color do you turn when you’re choking or suffocating? Blue! So, next time you’re feeling uncomfortable in the space you’re in, focus on improving your headspace with breathwork.
I recommend starting with “3-4-5” breathwork. Simply inhale through your nose over three counts. Hold your breath for four counts. Then, exhale forcefully through your mouth over five counts. I recommend doing a minimum of three rounds, but you can do as many as needed until you feel calm and in control.
Use breathwork to combat negative emotions, control your actions and reactions, and connect with your best self.
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.