Small Changes Today, Lead to Big Change Tomorrow

5 Benefits to Cultivating a Breath Mindset 

If you want to be happy then you have to start acting happy. Every day. Every single day you must take time to separate yourself from the stresses that keep you dwelled up in the past and allow your mind to be free. 15 minutes is a great start. Separate your mind by centering and slowing down. Focusing instead on the inhales and the exhales. 

Our world reflects to us what we are continually thinking about, so separate from the anxiety and allow yourself to breathe. See yourself being joyful and happy. Psychology will tell us that we are damaging our bodies by thinking negatively and actually shortening our lives! If we think about being stressed, overworked, depressed and we are constantly thinking and talking about it, then guess what? 

You’re going to be exactly that. AND! That is what you will see reflected in the world around you. 

15 minutes of calm breathing helps swipe the board clean so you can reset your thinking. 

Below are 5 benefits of how a breath mindset can alter your daily life

  1. Create your own vision

You are responsible for how you show up and interact with the world around you. And how you show up is a byproduct of how you think. If you hold a lot of resentment in your heart and always expect the worst from others then that is what you will see and be attracted to. 

There’s a saying that you will get what you seek when you’re ready to receive it. You might think but I’m ready now! 

  • A healthy relationship isn’t going to find you until you’ve dropped your negative chatter about relationships. 
  • You won’t find yourself in a healthy body if your thoughts about your body are still limited by old beliefs no matter how much you workout. 
  • The six-figure salary you’re after won’t appear while you continue to have poor money management.

When you are ready to see real change you must begin the work of changing your thought patterns. 

Flip the switch to a healthier output. 

The truth is you will never see all of life’s miracles happening around you every day if you don’t take time to see them. 

I think about this every time I go mushroom hunting. It’s always a great time walking in the woods and at first, I don’t see any. Then once I find one I start seeing another and another, and soon I can’t turn around without finding the fungi. My focus is on mushrooms, and once I see one my mind becomes tuned in to them, and more follows. 

Start to catch yourself when you think negatively and immediately ( this takes effort ) separate yourself from the thought. Close your eyes, bring your focus to your breath, and breathe fully and slowly for 5-10 rounds of breath. Now replace the thought with what you’d like to see instead. 

I have trained myself to do this. Whenever I find myself playing out random scenarios that will never happen in my mind and I can feel myself getting emotionally wrapped in them I immediately stop the thought. It takes effort to not continue down the path. But if I don’t then it leads to other confrontations in my head that are unhealthy and ego-driven. When I can, I stop the thought, separate myself, breathe, and imagine myself hugging this person, or seeing them in a moment of pure joy. It reminds me that they are human too and that what I truly want is peace. 

Being happy starts when you short circuit those negative thoughts. It happens when you decide to not engage in gossip or online debates of the ego. It begins by taking time to separate yourself from the drama. 

  1. No more Ruminating

The best antidote for getting out of a poor mindset is to stop ruminating on the what if’s of life. People waste a lot of time and undue energy trying to fix things that are out of their control. 

It’s hard to move beyond a loss in life, like that of a loved one or a broken heart and even being let go from a place of employment. We all have moments we wish we could undo. We all have those times that we wish we would have said or done something differently. Everyone alive has regrets but you are wasting your time thinking about the things outside your influence of change. 

We, humans, tend to ruminate on the things outside of our control and this ruminating gives that thing, that person, that event power over you. It holds you back from living fully in the experiences happening right now. 

I was hurt by someone I love deeply. This hurt led me to ruminate on what I could have said or done differently to make him still love me. It had me analyzing and judging every action between us. I found myself doing things in my life just to prove that I had moved beyond the hurt. I ruminated on it for so long that it became a part of my daily thoughts of unworthiness. This went on for longer than I care to admit, and ended once I realized that the event wasn’t the real issue, it was my thinking about it that did that. I was holding myself, prisoner, to an idea that was all in my head. 

If you find yourself in this ruminating try coherent 5×5 breathing for 15 minutes. Simply inhaling to the count of 5 and exhaling to the count of 5. Set an intention to focus solely on the breath, then when you are done you can revisit your sadness from a clear mind and solutions will begin to reveal themselves to you. This is a great way to break repeating thought patterns and begin to replace them with new more empowering ones.

  1. Expect the Best Possible Outcome

You get what you focus on so train yourself to focus on the best possible outcome. Why not? It’s a lot more fun than constantly dreading some horrible fate. As stated before, you get what you focus on, so try focusing on the best. Plant the seeds in your mind of what you’d like your life to look like, and then water those seeds with reinforcement of thought and behavior. Just like planting a garden, you learn valuable lessons along the way. Maybe your tomatoes grow with ease, but your cabbage skills need work. It’s the same with life, when things don’t go as planned, you take the lesson and try again. Stay focused on it turning out right for you. 

Our brains are designed to seek out the worst-case scenario so there is work to be done here, but you will be amazing at what a little head-clearing can do. We actually need very little encouragement to stay focused and just a little effort daily will do the trick. 

Marisa Peer tells people in her training to state the thing they most need to hear. It could be from your parents, your partner, your children, your boss, whomever. What is it that you most need to hear? Say it. Say it out loud to yourself and say it often. So often we wait to get that validation from the outside when you can start saying what you long to hear right now to yourself. 

Try this: After you eat lunch find a place to sit and be for 5-15 minutes. Close your eyes and bring your focus to your breath. Direct your breath in through the nose and bring it deep into your belly. Then exhale gently out the mouth til all the air is out. Once you got that rhythm down add in what you most need to hear. Say it to yourself as you inhale, and as you exhale let go of any resistance to how it feels or sounds. Let the words fill you. See how this simple exercise affects the rest of your day. See how it helps you to show up more present and sure of yourself. See how it guides you to expect the best possible outcome.

  1. Be a Problem Solver

Learn to tackle problems not run from them. This will keep your head sharp and help your mind find alternative ways out of any circumstance you find yourself in. By nature, we learn to avoid hard things. Or better stated, we learn to avoid things we think are going to be hard. Again this is our brain’s way of protecting us.

When you approach life as a problem solver you start realizing that for every problem a solution will follow. You won’t stay frustrated for long because you know the answer is out there. 

Yes, things will still be hard and difficult somethings but knowing you can and will work your way through a problem takes some of the anxiety away. You will master the art of breaking things down into smaller chunks, and you might even find out that what seemed hard was nothing more than a half-hour phone conversation or a 20-minute online tutorial.

The cool thing about approaching life as a problem solver is that it takes your mind out of the busyness that turns small tasks into big tasks. It frees up space in your mind because it’s not a question of whether or not you will be figuring things out. You just tackle the issue and move along. The more you do it the easier it will become so start training yourself today. 

  1. Get Creative

Do not let life become a hamster wheel of survival. You are a creative being and you were meant to live a creative life. Remember to look around and develop an intuition that keeps you connected to your creative self. 

  • Pick up a notebook and write down the wonderful and inspiring things you hear throughout the day.
  • Go see a play, movie, concert
  • Take a drawing class
  • Learn piano

Our minds thrive when they are inspired and working our minds in new ways is inspiring. Albert Einstein famously would play violin whenever he came up against a problem he couldn’t see through. Then he’s come back with fresh eyes and completes the math problem with ease. 

When you work creatively you are firing new circuits in your brain that connect and wire into new pathways of thinking. This clears your mind to be a better problem solver. 

I hear people say they don’t feel creative all the time for no other reason than that they aren’t good at it. Perhaps you’ve caught yourself saying something like…

  • I can’t draw
  • I have no rhythm
  • I don’t hear the beat

I too have caught myself saying these things. I am not the best cook, but I like to get creative with my food. Am I ever going to be on one of the thousand cooking shows? NO. But I don’t need to, and either do you. No one is expecting you to be the next Picasso, so let that go and have fun. Let your creative life flourish, even if the world (or you) thinks it’s terrible. Not only will it give you a deeper appreciation for the talents of others, but it will also enrich your life in new ways and open the door of your mind to a more healthy balanced palette of experiences. 

What is a breath mindset?

A breath mindset is using your breath to help support your mind in new and healthy ways. 

  • If you are done with feeling miserable or like a victim then it’s time to find your breath. 
  • If you are not interested in taking medication to numb your body of its senses it’s time to find your breath.
  • If you feel like a slave to your anxiety, stress, or depression, it’s time to find your breath.
  • If you have a tendency to dwell on the past and beat yourself up then it’s time to find your breath.

Your breath is your life-long companion and the antidote for what troubles your mind. 

Breathwork is simple, but it is certainly not easy. It takes work, commitment, and courage to decide to look inward. You must be willing to get in touch with what is truly troubling you and seek solutions. 

We are in a world of trouble because we let our troubles go and bury ourselves in distractions. This may be ok for a while, but not when you are ready to live a full rich life. 

Breathwork helps you to see clearly and gives you the strength to stand in your truth. Breath mindset is about calming the breath that affects the heart that sends signals to your brain about what’s going on. Your mind then sends signals out to the nervous system that things are cool, calm and under control. 

It’s called breathwork because it does take work, but really breath play is a better term. Learning to use your breath is fun and feels good. Breath mindset is the method I use to bring balance into my life. 

If you are interested in having some accountability as you begin a journey into Breath Mindset, reach out. I’m happy to coach you or set you up with our online community. 

Breathe Well. 

Creating a Life that is Emotionally Rich by Connecting to Breath

You Are the Source!

Did you know that every single emotion you have has a breathing pattern to match? It’s true. When you’re happy your breathing pattern is different than when you are sad, or angry. We see evidence of this all the time. In fact, breath is so intertwined with our emotions that we’ve created all kinds of figurative language around it. 

  • It took my breath away
  • A breath of fresh air
  • Don’t hold your breath
  • Catch my breath
  • Wind knocked out of me
  • My dying breath

Emotions add richness to our lives. We lean towards joy, elation, and love to keep us healthy and content. But anger, fear, sadness are equally important emotions to understand. When you begin to understand that all emotions have an effect on our breathing patterns, then you can see the power you have to change it.

When you are aware of your emotions you can change how you feel by changing your breathing patterns. 

Emotions are what tie us to the past. They remind us of the love and experience that binds us to another. Emotions can become so intense that we feel controlled by them. Sometimes we get stuck in a certain emotion far beyond the actual experience that caused the emotion in the first place. Because our minds are constantly working to protect us they can begin to drown in sadness and sorrow. Our minds do this to keep us safe. A perfect example would be two strangers fighting over social media to prove their point by being nasty to another. They get stuck in ego and anger, feeding off the intensity. 

Emotions aren’t bad, they are healthy and should be expressed and felt, but what happens is we tend to repeat certain behaviors based on the emotions we feel, and through time we become addicted to these emotions and patterns. Too often we get so addicted to negative emotions and thought patterns that we find ourselves living a life we don’t even like. This leaves us feeling powerless because our emotions are running our life. 

Learning to manage your emotions connects you back to source. 

Managing your breath is the necessary skill to bring your body and emotions back into alignment. 

Scarcity of Breath Vs. Abundance of Breath

Conscious breathing actually shifts the chemistry of your body. It impacts…

  • Our physiology
  • Our state of consciousness
  • Our mental state
  • Our emotional well being

By paying attention and making subtle changes to your breathing habits and patterns you are opening yourself up to access more choices in your life. You begin to pay attention to things happening around you in a new way. 

Using your breath helps you to show up in your life in a responsive way vs. a reactive way. 

When you can respond instead of reacting to all that life throws at you, you move your mind from a place of fear to a place of abundance. When you approach life from a place of abundance your breathing is deep and full. Your body is feeling nourished and your nervous system is in balance. All these things help us to make more productive clear choices in how we respond to the situations of our lives.

Whereas when you feel stressed, depressed, or anxious your breathing tends to be shallow, mechanical, and fast. In turn, your body isn’t going to get the nutrients it needs from the oxygen you breathe and that is reflected in your decision making. You start making quick, reactive decisions based on the idea of scarcity. You act out of scarcity because you are breathing out of scarcity. 

Returning to source

Trauma in the body, family behavior, and lifestyle are all factors in how a person develops their breathing patterns. Everyone has patterns unique to their personal experiences, so the key is to manage our emotional state through our breath.

You can learn to anchor into the present moment using your breath. The more you practice this the more access you will have to witness what is happening around you. The more you are a witness to the world around you, and open to seeing it as it is, free of judgment and old stories the more connected to the infinite source you will be. 

Source is within you. All you seek is within you. 

Algorithms on social platforms like Instagram use your likes as a guide to creating an experience tailored to you. Your mind has the ability to do the same thing. Everything you think and do is creating the reality you live in. The reality you live in is based on emotional cues you have selected and gathered around you to create this experience. Now that you can see this you can use this information to begin breathing into a life you consciously tailor for yourself. 

You are consciously creating your own algorithm all the time. 

Invite conscious breathing into your daily routine and you will start seeing significant changes in how you arrive in your life. Conscious breathing helps you to become more aware of your emotions and return to the source of all that dwells inside of you today. 

5X5 Breathing.

A great way to start becoming aware of your breathing patterns is through 5×5 breathing. 

  • Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, or if on a chair move away from any back support so you can have a straight spine. Plant your feet on the floor, a hip-width distance apart.
  • Round your shoulders back and let your chest feel open.
  • Tuck your chin slightly.
  • Soften or close your eyes.
  • Bring your attention to your breath. Make no effort to change your breath pattern, simply notice it.
  • Begin to slow the breath by inhaling to the count of 5, and exhaling to the count of 5.
  • Bring your attention to the inhale. Feel the breath flow in through your heart center. 
  • Exhale and notice the breath leaving your heart center. 
  • Do 10 rounds of breathing like this, focused on your heart. If it feels good you can place your hands over your heart to help keep your focus and attention there. 
  • After 10 rounds or so let the 5×5 pattern go and continue to breathe with ease keeping your attention inside. 

Notice how quickly you can change your emotional state just be doing 10 rounds of this simple and effective practice. Notice how it anchors you into the moment. Helping you to be more present with yourself and your surroundings. Notice how much clearer your mind feels. 

Simple breathing patterns like this can have a profound effect on your day. Emotional management begins with the breath. The breath connects you to source, and you begin to breath in a whole new way. 

Begin Today Because Tomorrow May Never Come

Get in the Practice of Starting Now 

The fastest way to learn anything is by doing it. You can plan all your life for a trip that never comes if you don’t start executing steps to get there at some point. It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis. There is always one more book to read, or skill to try before you begin. And even if you did all the right steps none of it matters unless you start doing the thing. 

Two years ago I decided I was going to start writing weekly. I had no previous experience with writing, but I had a thought. If I start writing about the things that matter to me today, then a year from now I will have over 50 blogs that I researched and wrote that will no doubt propel me in the direction of my dreams. 

I had no idea at the time what I was doing. All I knew was that I needed a new direction and knew that the best way to figure that out was to start walking a new path. By writing weekly I am training my brain to stay focused on where I want to go. I am training myself to show up and learn something so well that I can comfortably and confidently write and speak about it. Instead of becoming overwhelmed, I take it one week at a time. 

Learning and doing are two separate skills

As someone who loves to consume information about personal development, I thought why am I not doing half the things I learn about? Why am I reading about developing myself if I’m not doing anything about it? I was only incorporating the things that were easy. The things that already came naturally to me. I was allowing myself to play small in my life and I’m not sure how or when that happened. 

Sound familiar? 

Most of us can think back to a time we jumped into the action of life without a clue what we were doing. Then somewhere along the way, we started taking more precaution, and sometimes with good cause, but this keeps us small. Taking in all the information and waiting for everything to be just right never works out. 

You have to begin today!

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, was asked how he became an expert on habits and habit building in an interview on the School of Greatness Podcast. He began researching and writing about habits and habit building. He started integrating it into his physiology by not only learning about it but writing about it. Dr. Joe Despenza says a similar thing. He says you can consume endless amounts of information but if you can’t articulate that information back to someone then you haven’t learned it. 

Walking the path is a different experience than learning about the path. 

We all know people out there living brilliant lives because they had the gumption to believe in themselves and jumped in. You probably also know a sharp tack who is living a mediocre life because not everything is perfect quiet yet. 

Begin before you are ready!

There’s a quote I love, “Three months from now you’ll wish you started today.” It’s powerful because it’s true. How often have you set out on an adventure after months or even years of talking about it only to say to yourself, I wish I would have started this years ago.

We’ve all been there but we have decided that our cozy comfort zones are a safer route than trying and failing. 

Failure is not the enemy

We forgot that to fail is to succeed. We forgot that we have to be willing to dare greatly if we want to reap the big rewards in life. The good stuff never comes with ease. It comes with commitment and hard work. It comes from times of uncertainty where you push through and do the work anyway. Not just showing up when it feels convenient, but daily. 

Success comes when we commit to starting today!

So what are the things in your life that you are putting off? And why are you putting them off? 

Ask yourself…

  • How am I benefiting from waiting? 
  • Would starting this new project, course, or pathway make my life better?
  • What am I afraid will happen?
  • Why do I feel safer now even though I want something different?
  • What is inside of me that I’m unwilling to change or deal with?
  • Do I tend to shy away from challenges?
  • When was the last time I truly stood up for what I want?
  • Would tackling this right now be any worse than how I feel now?
  • What am I afraid of? 
  • Whats holding me back?

The great thing about asking these types of self-reflective questions is that your mind will start to quickly identify where your work is needed to help you move forward. Which loops you back around to beginning today. Tackling those issues so you can show up in your life more fully. 

So many people are living half in and half out in their own life. So afraid of making the wrong decision or settling for less than they deserve and constantly keeping an eye out for something better. The truth is better cannot be found out there, better is found inside. 

The people you know who have solid relationships, healthy bodies, and sharp minds have worked to make it so. They tackle the hard stuff so they can thrive where they are. 

A new relationship isn’t going to fulfill you. A new job will end up the same as the last 4. You kids won’t suddenly start respecting you, and that health issue you are ignoring isn’t going to magically go away. You must begin to make changes now to see the rewards in life you seek. 

So begin today my friends. Whatever the step, big or small, begin today and a year from now you can look back and think, Wow! Look how far I’ve come. 

I believe in you. 

Master Your Breath, Master Your Life

How Changing Your Breathing Patterns Could Alter Your Experience

Every breath that you take is sending signals from your brain to your body about how you feel. You take over 20 thousand breaths per day and each of those inhales is an opportunity to invite in a different state of being. Each one of those exhales is a gift in releasing and letting go. The trouble is we are mindlessly breathing and our breath patterns are controlling our life.

If you are walking around depressed your breathing patterns are going to look and feel very different than someone who is moving with joy. By learning to breathe properly you can begin to show up in your life differently. 

For instance, it’s hard to maintain a state of depression when you are walking around with a straight spine, shoulders back, and chin up because your breath will feel full and intentional. Your breathing becomes full because your posture is more open, allowing air to travel through your body. Whereas if you walk around with your shoulders slumped forward, head down, and back rounded, it’s going to be harder for air to travel fully into the diaphragm. The poor posture has you breathing short and shallow into your chest, which is a secondary breathing function. Of course you feel depressed. 

Our breath is an integral part of who we are and how we show up in this life, yet we have never been taught how to use it properly. Let me ask you this…When was the last time you noticed your breath? Most people will respond with a time they felt out of breath due to running or crying or some circumstance that forced them to pay attention. 

Breath is essential!

Developing a mindful breath practice is at the heart of any yoga practice. Guiding you to gain greater insight into your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Mastering your breath is essential for any one of these components to meet its full potential.

Each time you inhale your lungs carry fresh oxygen to your blood which works as a bus delivering that oxygen to your cells. This happens every single time you inhale! And it’s an involuntary act so it’s happening whether you’re thinking about it or not. Super cool.

Most people, most of the time are not breathing to their full capacity. 

Each breath has the power to nurture your body. Most people have tight and tired lungs and an underdeveloped diaphragm. Why? Because we have never been taught about how to use our breath to completely transform our lives. 

When you learn to master your breath and develop strong lungs and a fit diaphragm more oxygen is moving to your cells. The more deeply you breathe the more oxygen you take in and the more oxygen you take in the more you are enriching your bloodstream that carries this vital nutrition to your cells and your organs. 

Optimize your mental state

When your body is feeling properly fueled you show up in a better mental state. You feel more centered and focused. Our breath affects our minds and our minds affect our breath. They’re like two peas in a pod. 

Negative thought patterns bring about anxiety, depression, and overwhelm. These thoughts affect our posture and breathing patterns. Positive thought patterns bring about confidence, determination, and joy and these thoughts affect how we show up and breathe in a very different way. 

The trick to becoming a master of your breath is being able to use breath control at any moment to change your energy and thoughts around certain situations. 

Change your breath, change your brainwaves. Chance your brainwaves, change your energy. Change your energy, change your life.

Life is always going to throw you unexpected curveballs. You will always have those challenging relationships and situations that make you feel uncomfortable. You can’t stop that from happening, but you can change how you relate to those situations when they do come up. You can let those times send your mind into a battle of ego or sorrow affecting your thoughts, your breath, and your ability to handle the situation. Or you can guide yourself into the present moment by taking a slow deep breath.

The moment you start to do this you will feel more focused, grounded, and centered in your experience. You begin to observe things around you much more clearly and take a pause to sense what is your next best move instead of reacting. This helps you be in charge of your life. 

Tony Robbins has a saying, “Life is happening for you, not to you.” We all have heard that you get what you focus on and the same is true with breath. The quality of your life can be determined by the quality of your breath.

Mindfulness

Mastering your breath is about mastering your mind. It is at the heart of mindfulness practices. Mindfulness has become so critical today because the world seems to continue to move at a faster and faster pace. We have learned to wear our exhaustion as a badge of honor. We feel the need to be busy at every second of the day and we aren’t functioning at a prime level. 

When we breathe short shallow breaths we are depriving our body of the nutrients it needs to function fully. Mindfulness is about slowing down our minds, our breaths, and our experience to live more fully in the moment. This helps bring more joy into our experience because we are present to recognize the little things and it begins with our breathing. 

Let’s try it right now. 

  • Move to the edge of your seat and let your spine run long and straight
  • Plant your feet firmly on the floor hip-width distance apart
  • Tuck your chin slightly
  • Let your hands come to rest on your thighs
  • Count in your mind as you inhale 1-2-3-4-5
  • Pause for a moment
  • Exhale as you count in your mind 5-4-3-2-1
  • Repeat 5-10 rounds

See how it immediately changes your mental state. Clearing your mind and bringing you into the moment. You can also play with saying other things as you inhale and exhale. 

This is me inhaling, this is me exhaling. Whatever works.

To master your breath you need to have a regular practice of focused breathwork. This trains your mind to notice when you begin to fall into negative thought patterns. It helps you to be aware of how you are holding your body and is a sure-fire way to beat stress, depression, and anxiety once you make a regular habit of it. 

We have learned to give away our control and wallow in our own misery. We know this is unhealthy, but there is a way out and that way is through your breath. Right now you carry inside you the answer to mastering your life. With a little effort (10-15 minutes each day to start) you can begin the take back your life. 

Master your breath, master your life. 

If you want more information about how you can start making profound change and master your breath join me over at Breath Mindset and begin your journey today.