No, I’m not being snarky with myself here. I’m not stuck waiting for something that will never happen. I’m literally reminding myself not to hold my breath when I’m trying to focus.
Do you do that too? Or is it an ADHD thing?
Either way, it’s no fun. I’ll be trying to work on something and I won’t realize that I have been holding my breath until I catch myself sighing as I exhale. It’s not a good feeling and it involves a lot of unnecessary tension and I really want to stop doing it.
And in the course of figuring out how to break the habit, I’ve started by just being more conscious of when I might hold my breath and trying to stop myself earlier. But I have also been doing some research into different breathing videos and techniques. I figure that if I can practice breathing in more beneficial ways then I can not only stop holding my breath but I can replace my ineffective technique (holding my breath) with one that serves me better.
I mean, even if it doesn’t work, I get to spend some time breathing slowly and chilling out. There’s no downside to that.
So far, I have discovered that I really like having a visual element instead of just audio because it engages more of my brain so I can focus with more ease. (You know, so I don’t end up holding my breath while I practice breathing.)
Here are a few of the useful things I’ve found:
I’m not particularly anxious at the moment but I’ve still found these breathing GIFs for anxiety pretty good.
And I’m a fan of this video:
And I find box breathing very relaxing:
And if you are into breathing in shapes, this is adorable!
In addition to playing around with all of these videos and GIFs, I have been reading James Nestor’s book Breath and I plan to talk about it on an upcoming post. I’m not sure exactly when that will happen yet, though, so don’t hold your breath on that one. (Ha!)
Do you have any breathing videos or techniques to recommend? What do you use them for? What do you like about them?
I’m the founder and Chair of the Association for the Arts in Mount Pearl and I’m a former president of the St. John’s Storytelling Festival.
I bake a mean chocolate chip cookie.
View all posts by Christine Hennebury