According to Thomas Crum, the path to living a more stress-free life begins with something we do every moment of every day—breathing. By simply changing your breathing patterns, Thomas says you can begin to live in the moment, think more positively and release tension. Bob talks with Thomas, who has taught the martial art of aikido for over 30 years, about his three different breathing exercises and how they can help you tap into inner peace:
Centering breath: To achieve the centering breath, Thomas says you must align your body, breathe from your diaphragm, allow energy in and let gravity take tension out. This simple breathing exercise can be done just about anywhere—from your car to your desk—and will help you find calm and respond to life events rather than react to them.
Possibility breath: As you change your breathing with the centering breath, Thomas says you must also change your thoughts. The possibility breath is achieved by having a sense of commitment to something beyond yourself—whether it's family, service or a philosophy on life. "It's about expanding your mind at the highest level that brings you beyond your ego," he says.
Discovery breath: The third step to building a stress-resistant lifestyle is through the discovery breath, which is about having a sense of challenge. As you practice mindful breathing, ask yourself: "Are my next actions going to come with the intent to be right or to learn? To defend or discover?" The discovery breath will help you train your mind to see stressors as opportunities rather than problems, Thomas says.