"I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am." - Sylvia Plath

The breath is one of your most powerful assets for staying balanced throughout the ups and downs of living.

Using your breath you can positively impact your physiological state. By deliberately taking two or three diaphragmatic breaths in succession, you can counteract the stress arousal reactions that occur in your body when you become anxious, angry, or overwhelmed. Here is an easy way to shift into diaphragmatic breathing: exhale completely, once complete push even a little more air out, your subsequent inhalation will come from your diaphragm.

By accessing your breath, you can also positively impact your state of mind. Your breath can help you shift your mind away from distorted thoughts (ruminating/replaying the past, or worrying about/anticipating the future) and bring your attention back into the present moment, where you have real options. Whenever you notice your mind is caught in a preoccupying thought, simply bring your awareness to the process of your breath entering and exiting your body, and you will be shifting your mind back into the here and now.

As long as you are alive, your breath is always accessible as an anchor, a home base. The most challenging aspect of using the power of your breath is remembering to access it!