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.
To Say Your Daily Aloha:
Take a deep, cleansing breath. Inhale through your nose for three counts. Exhale for four counts. Then, exhale forcefully through your mouth over five counts. Then, say Your Daily Aloha Affirmation out loud at least three times.
For a more powerful session:
Look at yourself in the mirror as you say this affirmation.
Add smiling to help retrain your brain and boost happiness.*
Say this affirmation as you face a problem or situation head-on or repeat it throughout the day.
What is a Daily Affirmation:
A daily affirmation is an easy tool you can incorporate into your life to empower you to greatness. When used regularly, affirmations will help you build courage and confidence, pursue your goals and dreams, and live, love, and lead with aloha! Saying positive statements out loud daily can also improve your well-being by boosting your mood, lifting your spirits, and helping you to cultivate a more positive attitude. Your Daily Aloha Affirmation is the game-changer you need to create more positive thoughts, actions, and outcomes in your life! Use today's affirmation or find another that resonates with you in the "Your Daily Aloha Affirmations" section of this website.
* Scientists say smiling creates a happiness feedback loop in our brains. When we smile, our facial muscles fire a signal back to the brain, which increases levels of happy hormones, or endorphins.
The loop: When our brain feels happy, we smile; when we smile, our brain feels happier. Thanks to this feedback loop, we can alter our brain's emotional processing pathway to feel happier with a simple smile. Smiling also helps reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and heart rate.
Did you know?: The happiness level that a smile can bring to our brains is estimated as equivalent to that of having 2,000 bars of chocolate.
Source: "What's the Science Behind a Smile?" (BritishCouncil.org)