Breathing is Healing

“What destroys you will give you the opportunity to find out who you really are.”

I believe it now, cuz I’m in it. And I’m unraveling myself all the way to childhood to heal and find myself again. 

In my last post, I wrote about my recent realization that I’m an expert in seeking external validation. I’m making a shift to finding validation from within. I started working with a coach to help me “Unwind the Mind.”

First, I will unwind myself from my 20 year relationship/18 year marriage to my husband and the negative habits I formed during that life. Then, I will revisit my childhood to the little girl who did not receive the love and validation she needed to feel secure with herself. 

Breathwork as a Healing Tool

In my first session with my mindset coach, we discussed some tools to start right away to help regulate my body and mind. We discussed the science of breath work and how it affects us.

As I was listening to my coach explain the different ways breath work stimulates our nervous system and affects our brains, I thought about all those times I was told to breath this way and that in yoga class, meditation guides, sound baths… where I just mindlessly did what they said without understanding the “why” behind it. 

The why is important to appreciate the reasoning behind the exercise! The why gives us the rationale of science which gives support to the effectiveness of the exercise. The why gives us hope that the work will help us.

Your breath brings oxygen into your body so that you can thrive. When you are physically or emotionally stressed, it affects how you breathe. Breathwork helps to calm your stress and bring balance to your body. 

Understanding Breathwork

The basic idea of breathwork is to release toxins and stress when you breathe out and nourish your mind and body when you breathe in.

Benefits of breathwork

‌Breathwork has a positive impact on your central nervous system. When you feel stressed, your breath tends to become fast and shallow. This limits the oxygen entering your bloodstream. Your brain tells your body that there is a threat.

When you take time to slow down and purposefully breathe deeply and slowly, you tell your brain that everything is OK. Your brain communicates to your body that it’s safe to relax. 

When you focus on breathing, you allow your body the chance to reset and recover from the negative side effects of stress. 

Physical health benefits of breathwork

  • Balanced blood pressure
  • More time in deep sleep
  • Reduction feelings of trauma
  • Stronger respiratory function
  • Better immune system
  • Release of stress hormones from your body

Emotional benefits 

  • Less depression and anxiety
  • Better mental focus
  • Decrease in addictive behaviors
  • Allowing emotional scars to heal
  • Better outlook on life
  • Contentment and joy

Now that we’ve covered the science of breathwork, here are my two favorite exercises to incorporate into your days. 

2 Breathing Techniques

1. Water Breathing

10 rounds, count of 4 on the way in, count of 4 on the way out. During stressful times.

Water Breathing is a Breathing Style that mimics water, specifically the flow, flexibility and adaptability of the liquid and replicates it with the user’s movements, techniques and abilities. 

This exercise has an adaptogenic effect on your nervous system. If you’re up, it will bring you down; if you’re down, it will bring you up. You can practice Water Breath standing, seated, lying down, and even while driving.

Like drinking a glass of water, it’s always safe, always appropriate, and always healthful.

  • Practice any time, day or night
  • Use before high-stress meetings or presentations
  • Use if you’re feeling sluggish midday
  • Use during all yoga practices and low-intensity exercise

2. Trauma Breathing

Breath is easier than meditation to implement. We all know how to breathe, but it takes practice to learn how to meditate.  

There is a relationship between our breath/ lungs and grief . When we suppress our trauma and layer over it with life, it will come out as anxiety.


1o rounds

Inhale 4 counts hold 7 counts exhale 8 counts. Video below goes into detail about this method.

I practice this method of breathing each day for 5 minutes. I don’t know if it is because I loved the Ted Talk by Max Strom (link above) or because I relate to this the most because of my recent trauma in my life, but it’s my favorite and is helping me feel more calm. 

Try it. Try breathing each day with one of the above choices… see if it helps you. 

Below is a Ted Talk which discusses my points above, as well as a few other types of breath work you might want to try. 


Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. By Jen Oliak.