Editor's note: If you appreciate posts like this and want ANC to continue publishing similar content, become a paid subscriber for as little as $1.35 a month.
Breathe… Just breathe. Hopefully you’re already breathing somewhat, but you could probably benefit from doing it more. It’s one of the most effective tools in your toolbox and you can use it anytime. It’s free and easy and has all sorts of amazing benefits. Even though I know this, I still catch myself not breathing enough, especially when I’m rushed, stressed or upset. That’s because the body naturally breathes less deeply as a fight-or-flight response to stressful situations. But too much of this fight-or-flight state is not good for your health or well-being. So we need to catch ourselves. Take a breath damnit! It’s so easy. And so beneficial. And it can make you more intelligent! Emotionally Intelligent that is.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is something that you hear about more and more these days. One of the fundamentals of emotional intelligence is not being so reactive to the stimuli around you. (I know of a certain political figure who could use a healthy dose of EQ. I mean…) The most obvious way to be less reactive, and more emotionally intelligent, is to give yourself a pause by taking a deep breath. It can take the edge off of a stressful feeling and give you the moment you need to not do something stupid. In the age of emails most of us have sent one that we wish we could take back. Taking regular deep breaths can not only calm you down, it also helps you to recognize when you’re emotional and need to take a step back.
By creating a habit of it, breathing also becomes an exercise in focus and attention, and gives you one more opportunity to question a potentially bad choice. Isn’t that what life is all about? Trying to make good choices? Breathing is one easy little tool to help you make better choices. AND it makes you smarter! Boom.