The person in this beautiful image wins the moment by doing a rep. You will too—over and over.
If you’re old enough to read this, you already know that deciding to make a change is just the first step. Creating a healthy habit is simple. It’s exactly the same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice.
Here are two kinds of reps that will help you be healthier and happier. One is mental and one is physical.
Mental Reps for Calm and Focus
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that paying attention to the breath and intentionally breathing in particular patterns calms the body and mind, and that doing so regularly produces long-term benefits.
- Draw your attention to your breathing.
- Breathe through the nose only, slowly and lightly, allowing the diaphragm (at the base of your ribs) to move in and out about an inch with each exhale and inhale. Let each exhalation be slightly longer than each inhalation.
- When the mind drifts, and it will, escort the mind back to the breath. There! You did a rep.
- Repeat. Repeat again. Repeat infinitely.
I’m not even kidding. As many times as the mind drifts away from the breath, return it to the breath. This could be a hundred times a day—or a minute.
Each time you return your attention to the breath, your nervous system gets better at doing it automatically. Eventually, it becomes your habit.
Physical Reps for Stress Resilience and Cardiovascular Health
It’s a fact of life: You will feel out of breath at times. It might happen unintentionally, such as when carrying a heavy load of groceries. Or you might be doing fitness activities.
When you feel breathlessness, that’s your opportunity to do a rep for your respiratory health: Quickly quiet the breath. Here’s how:
- Notice a moment of breathlessness. Maybe you observed yourself breathing quickly and heavily or opening your mouth to feel like you were getting enough air.
- As quickly as you can, seal the lips, slow the breath, and reduce the air volume in and out.
- Every time you’re short of breath, repeat this practice, improving your cardiovascular health.
These results are intuitive: When running up the stairs, how would you regard gasps and a heaving chest versus an easy resumption of calm, slow breathing?
A quick return to slow, light, calm breathing is a literal demonstration of stress resilience.
Challenging yourself—never to the point of distress—and then calming the breath is the magic formula that produces cardiovascular fitness. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
We’ll Support You on Your Journey
Doing reps takes dedication. Compassionate support and effective guidance are key to sustaining your commitment. We teach breathwork and mindfulness techniques that will boost your ability to do reps and give you tools to track your progress.
We’ll keep you company and boost your morale when you’re doing better than you think you are. We’ll remind you of the nuts and bolts that make the exercises effective and help you get back on track. No journey is all uphill or downhill; we’ll affirm when your needs call for less, for rest.
When you’re ready, we’ll offer you new practices and challenges that support your needs and aim you more precisely toward your goals.
Please get in touch. We’d love to talk with you.