I’ve been a big fan, and user, of the 2x breathing technique for a while now, especially when it comes to my mental health, and I want to share this with you.
I have been following Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation, for about a year now, and I love her. Let me just start by saying that.
Meditation is something I started doing to help with anxiety, but in reality, it’s helping with life.
I’ve read several books, watched a number of videos, and listened to the voices of many instructors, but Ziva is my favourite.
This week I have enrolled in her 5 Day Stress Detox Challenge. It was free, so I’m keeping to my “Finish what I’ve already started” goal of 2020, and Ziva courses were something I enrolled in previously…
Anyway, day one told us to adapt the 2x breathing technique (2x Breath). I do this a lot, but the gentle reminder was good for me.
For those who don’t know, the 2x Breath is simple. Breath in through the nose for a count of two, exhale through the mouth for a count of four.
Do this a number of times until you start to feel your body and mind calm.
You can increase this, as well, so you’d inhale for a count of three, and exhale for a count of six.
As long as your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, you’re doing it right.
For the science behind this, and the reason why it works, please check out Emily Fletcher’s book here.
How it works for me, well, that’s easy. It helps me calm down significantly. It helps me remain calm when I’m already calm. It kicks anxieties to the curb.
How the 2x Breathing Technique Defuses Anxiety
An example of the 2x Breath in action… the other day I was walking my kids home from the school bus stop. They were playing, pushing each other in huge snowbanks, throwing snow, and chasing each other.
They were laughing, but I could see it ending with tears. Someone was going to get hurt, or a snowball to the face.
If I didn’t act quickly, that ‘someone’ was going to be me.
I asked them nicely to be mindful. Play, but not rough. Snowbanks are fun; ditches are not. be careful.
They weren’t listening. They were getting more aggressive.
I was becoming more stressed and riddled with anxiety. Loud noises are a huge trigger of anxiety. My kids are loud.
The fact that they weren’t heeding my words was making me more and more angry.
Enter the 2x Breath
Instead of yelling and screaming and becoming Mom-Zilla, I took two steps ahead of them, and practiced my breathing techniques.
They caught up to me but I continued on with the 2x breaths. When I was feeling less angry and heated, I pushed them both into a snowbank.
They laughed. I laughed.
I explained once more in a more gentle voice that playing is fun, laughing is encouraged.
I only wanted them to watch for ditches and cars, and to not throw snow in each other’s faces.
They listened, and I walked home a little ahead of them so they could enjoy their free time.
2x breathing technique for the win.
Prior to that exercise, I may have been thinking about grabbing each child by an ear and pulling them home… old school punishment, which I’ve never had the pleasure of doing, but can say that I’ve had it done to me.
Similar to having your mouth washed out with soap. Old school punishments. Fun to visualize, not so fun to dole out or to receive.
Breathe in…. breathe out.
My kids aren’t perfect, and they aren’t going to listen. Not always.
They will continue to be them, and I will encourage that. Even if it means doing my 2x Breath more often than not!