Have you ever just stopped and paid full attention to your breathing. As part of the autonomic nervous system, it is not something that we have to control, it just happens. The cool thing about it though, is that we can control our breathing.
I recently read a book called The Way of the Seal. It is written by Navy Seal and entrepreneur Mark Divine. The book is a great read and is geared toward taking what Mr. Divine learned as a Seal and incorporating it into everyday life.
In the book, he discusses several breathing exercises aimed at helping you control your body and your mind in times of stress. One of the steps in this “self mastery” is building a “mind gym” for visualization. I love this exercise as visualization has been a part of my bed time routine since I was a kid.
I have built my mind gym and it is amazing. Here is the problem. To get to the mind gym, I have to visualize myself walking down 10 steps, breathing deeply (inhale and exhale) at every step. Each night, I fall asleep on the steps.
I have come to realize that this is not a problem at all. You see, though visualization has been a big part of my routine for many years, I would often times get myself so worked up with my visions that I would find it difficult to go to sleep. What I have found is that the breathing exercises have actually helped me to relax. I no longer have anxieties or worries that I did just a few months ago. I have more confidence and a better body image. And my sleep is much more refreshing.
Though I would like to make it to my mind gym eventually, I am enjoying the feeling of just breathing.