When you’re trying to combine slow breathing with telling yourself to become calm, has that technique not worked?
I’ve even known it to have the opposite effect of making you rebel against trying to be calmer!
Then I saw Mark Robert Waldman, neuroscientist and therapist, demonstrate a slightly different but similar breathing technique.
As you’re breathing in, rather than telling yourself to be calm, you say, “I’m breathing in calmness.”
Then as you breathe out, you say, “I’m breathing out worries.” or “I’m breathing out stress.”
Rather than telling yourself to be something that you’re not (calm), you’re actively breathing in the state of mind that you desire to change to.
The subtle difference in language acknowledges the state of mind you’re in while helping you replace it with the state of mind you want.
Since it works with helping you change one state of mind, it can help you with changing other sates as well such as:
- clarity/confusion or overwhelm
and any other ones you can think of!
Just breathe in the state of mind you want, and breathe out the one you don’t want.