A colleague of mine, at least once a week says to me "Breathe Woman!" She means this in both the literal and figurative senses.  On any given day something happens in either my personal or professional life that makes me… hold my breath.

Holding your breath is holding you back!

In the literal sense, I inhale and then fail to exhale.   In the figurative sense, I hold on to something and don’t let it go.  The exhale in this case is needed to relax.  To relax my mind, body, and spirit so that I can stay focused.  The letting go is needed for release, especially the release of the frustration and negativity that holds me back, keeps me from being productive, and prevents me from moving in a positive direction.

What happens when we literally hold our breath?

We all know that if we are deprived of oxygen for long enough, we die.  It’s really that serious! Whether it’s fast or slow, when we fail to breathe, we fail to live. Here’s what happens when we hold our breath;

  1. We deprive our brains and bodies of oxygen. Without oxygen, cells die off and we fail to produce new ones.
  2. We prevent nitric oxide from entering our bodies.  Nitric Oxide is important for immune system health and disease prevention.
  3. We disturb our natural biochemistry. Disruption in biochemistry creates a more acidic environment making us prone to disease.

Anatomy tells us that breathing assists with expelling toxins from our bodies.  When we hold our breath, we allow these toxins to remain, circulate throughout our bodies, and ultimately manifest.  Research has also shown that failing to expel toxins from the body can decrease energy, make us age faster, and keep you in ill health.

Breathing and Releasing

Many of the same side effects of holding our breath occur when we fail to release negativity.  When we engage in negative thinking, stay around negative people, or allow negative energy to invade our space, we deprive ourselves of forward movement.

When we hold on to negativity…

  1. We deprive ourselves of positive energy. Positivity=creativity, and creativity breeds innovation.  When we can innovate ourselves, we will never be stuck.
  2. We prevent dialogue with ourselves and others. Dialogue is what fosters relationships.  Relationships are important for personal and professional growth.
  3. We disturb the natural ebb and flow of life. Positivity is natural, as is negativity. If we hold on to the negative, however, we leave no room for the positive. This can leave us emotionally unbalanced.

When we release the negativity from our lives, we free ourselves from the bondages of stagnation and mediocrity.  It is stagnation and mediocrity that often prevents us from being able to see possibilities and make the necessary changes that allow us to move upward and in a direction that creates opportunity

Exhaling and Letting GO!

Science says that when you maximize your breathing you release unwanted toxins to improve your health.  Health includes that which is of the mind, body, and spirit.  Exhaling rids the body of carbon dioxide, which is a waste product.  Letting go rids the mind of negativity, which is just a plain old waste.  We need to get into the habit of seeing things for what they are and identifying whether or not those things, or people, or situations will benefit our health and wellbeing. And, when its shown there is no benefit, we have to learn how to remove those things from our thoughts, from our space, and not act upon or react to them.

When we can breathe and let go, we can remove the barriers that hold us back from making progress. We can be creative, we can be productive, we can be happy, we can be healthy.  It is all of these that keeps us motivated and innovative.

 

Posted in Self Care and tagged .
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Dr. Waajida Small

Dr. Waajida L. Small is the founder and CEO of Capital Conscious U, a Human Capital Development firm based in New York. Dr. Small is a Certified Purpose Leader (CPL), Certified Human Capital Strategist (HCS) and certified professional coach (CPC) with specialties in career, executive, and spiritual coaching. Dr. Small holds a doctorate in Human Capital Management with a research emphasis on women of color and leadership. With a focus on building individual and collective human capital, Dr. Small's motto is "Capital Health for Capital Wealth". She believes that everyone has the potential for success but developing potential starts from within.

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