Breath out longer than you breathe in. Respond instead of reacting

When we get stressed out, we start taking deep breaths, even gulps of air and sigh heavily. Instead of relaxing you doing the opposite and winding yourself with for a fight or flight scenario. The lizard brain is taking over. 

Catch yourself when you get into a breathing cycle like this. Slow down and consciously spend double the time exhaling than you spend inhaling. It’ll move you from a reaction mode into responsive mode. Responding to something after you’ve had some time to digest the moment is way more efficient than reactive to something at the moment. This exercise can apply to stressful moments or joyful moments. 

I remember hearing the story about the martial arts instructor who was meeting with a student when a letter was delivered to him. It was a letter from his home country and something that he had been looking forward to for a long time. He slowly placed the envelope on the desk and continued to chat with the student. The student knew that his master has been waiting for this letter offer to leave early. The master said of course not, stay and finish the conversation. I don’t want to rush this conversation, and I don’t want to rush through the letter. Both are sacred and at the right time and it’s quiet I’ll open the envelope and savor it. Reacting vs. responding. 

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