Thursday, September 7, 2017

Power Breathing

(This blog was originally posted on August 30, 2016)

Photo by Rick Hustead

Breathing—especially diaphragmatic breathing—is one of the most natural and basic things that you can do to relax and calm down during a stressful situation. Power breathing is an effective technique to release/force out negative emotions you associate with that situation, event or even a person.

These techniques are similar in that both entail taking deep breaths of air through the nose and holding the air in the lungs for a few seconds before releasing it through the mouth. In power breathing, however, the air is released more forcefully, often with a “whoosh” sound, as if you are blowing out a very large candle. I find that imagery of Old Faithful’s steamy eruption or the sound and sight of the mist produced when whales or dolphins breathe on the surface of the ocean are useful for this exercise. Other good metaphors include a tornado, the power of a wind tunnel or even a volcano; it is completely up to you which imagery—if any—to use when you practice this technique.

The important and therapeutic aspect of this technique is that you associate the forceful release of your breath with symbolically, forcefully releasing those negative emotions or events, etc., you associate with holding back or impeding your personal growth. It doesn’t matter if you identify specific stressors to release (Physical Sexual/Physical Suggestible) or simply recognize them as a generic category of “everything that bothers me.” (An Emotional Sexual/Emotional Suggestible individual is more likely to do this.) The important thing is that you are allowing yourself to release—even force out—those negative associations this way. The force with which you let go of these things physically strengthens this intention in the conscious mind. The fact that these negative associations are being released on the exhale—a natural process of every breath we take—reinforces this intention in the subconscious mind. 

It is a great technique to help release stress and tension when you are stuck in rush-hour traffic, too!

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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