Your breath is one the most powerful tools in your armory against disease, social phobia, panic attacks, and one of your closest allies in good (normal) self esteem, a tiptop immune system, balanced hormones, decent rejuvenating sleep, a healthy digestive system, releasing stress hormones, and strengthening your heart and lungs.
One way of getting the best benefit from your breath is allowing the outbreath to do its thing. As a fab complement to the good advice “take a deep breath…” is letting that breath go, releasing it to its fullest extent, and then wait. Instead of forcing all the breath out and following it by another deep breath, just wait as the outbreath reaches its end, and then wait a little more, and wait for the lungs to naturally take the next breath in. What you are doing is handing the rhythm back to your body’s wisdom, and allowing your natural peaceful state to take back the authority to heal your body in the way that suits it best. It is a positive action that suggests to the body/mind that all those little stresses around us which we are choosing to react to are not a danger to us, and that its ok to feel peaceful and safe. The letting go of the outbreath, and then waiting, and waiting a little more until the next inbreath bounces back in, lets that ‘I’m at peace’ idea trickle through to the subconscious, and unconscious, allowing you to relax at a deep and profound level.
It takes a little practice, not that much each day, maybe a few minutes, but every time you do it you’re sending a positive message to your healing centres in your body to relax into their flow and do their thing. Sometimes you might notice at the end of each outbreath that you have a release in your shoulders and through your abdomen and across the diaphragm, and that your hips and knees feel more relaxed. The idea is to practice it a little and then make the intention that it becomes normal practice, and then forget about it, handing it over as part of the natural and normal breathing rhythm.