Breathing is a necessity in life

“Do you know that a great many of us do not actually breathe properly? It is one of the most important elements of life, otherwise, without the breath, we cannot live.
Breathing may be an automatic function and a vital one, why then do we spend so much of our time shallow breathing? When we breathe in an unmindful way, we often fail to fill our lungs fully as we only using the upper part, but like anything, our lungs must be worked. Shallow breathing limits the range of motion of the diaphragm, and this can make you feel anxious and, as if you do not have sufficient breath.


We need oxygen for every single cell in the body. Inhalation and exhalation impact the heart and lungs but also, is essential for energy production. Your body’s tissues and organs are made up of cells, and they must receive the right nutrients and oxygen to function correctly.”

“How often do we pay attention to how we breathe? We don’t really, until we succumb to colds or chest infections. There’s little attention paid to our respiratory system. It’s only when you struggle to breathe that you realize just how important it is. If you consider that your nose, windpipe, lungs, circulatory system and the muscles all provide the vital role of transporting those all-important breaths that you take, each part of the body’s systems are inter-linked, but without breath, the body fails to exist.


Dr. Herbert Benson wrote about controlled breathing in his book The Relaxation Response which discussed the oxygen exchange i.e. oxygen being inhaled while carbon dioxide is released. He stated that by controlling breathing, it centers the parasympathetic nervous system which counteracts the body’s fight or flight response. So, this means that by focusing on the breath, it’s possible to de-stress and to manage any anxieties (and anxiousness equates to shallow, rapid breaths). But it also increased brain growth and lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Research endorses this argument and so, yes, focus, breathe correctly, and be healthy.”

“Our breathing is either:
Thoracic or diaphragmatic
Interrupted or continuous
Irregular or rhythmical


Paying attention to how you breathe is important, but it’s also relevant to consider that your breathing is affected by your emotional or physical well-being. Think back to a time when you were angry, fearful or sad, these emotions would have affected your breathing. As you try to recall the memory, tune into the physicality’s of the moment. What was your breathing like? It’s important for you to determine if you have emotional triggers which will interrupt the natural process of breathing. Awareness is key because you can then re-train automatic responses, breathing correctly while improving your health.”

“Have a go at monitoring your breathing for a while and notice if you are guilty of shallow breathing all the time. It’s easy to correct so don’t worry if you do this. It’s very easy to fit some techniques into your daily life and, if you feel anxious at any point or fearful, know that when you focus on your breathing, you can reduce this feeling. The breath has such a calming effect. When I’ve been fraught with tension and have been worrying like mad about things, I found that by taking slow, deep breaths and focusing on the inhalation and exhalation, it really works. If you tune into the breath and focus, you can’t worry about anything else.
There are so many symptoms associated with anxiety and these include:


Feeling faint
Racing heartbeat
Feeling lightheaded
Chest pains”

“We’ve already discussed the connection between the mind and the body and so, it won’t surprise you to know that if you start feeling anxious, it’s possible to experience severe physical reactions. It’s true to say that some people are even hospitalized because they feel they might be having a heart attack. Many symptoms occur through shallow breathing. In fact, anxiety and shallow breathing go hand in hand. This is because the individual takes in only small breaths during any anxiety attack instead of breathing all the way to the bottom of their lungs. Shallow breathing may not be dangerous as such, but you can bet that it’s not good for you.


With shallow breathing, there’s often a need to take deeper breaths, simply because you are not getting in sufficient oxygen levels.
Have you ever noticed that people start yawning to compensate on a subconscious level? It is the easy way to obtain sufficient oxygen and promote healing from within. Take 3 or 4 deep breaths and then go back to breathing normally, just do this more often that’s all.

“Feelings of anxiety promote the activation of our body’s fight or flight system. By its design, it is meant to keep you from safe from any danger. So, if you are faced with a dangerous situation, your heartbeat naturally speeds up, and you start to breathe faster, so to get more oxygen in your system ready for either fighting or fleeing from the situation. This, of course, makes sense.

But anyone who suffers from anxiety is probably not facing any actual danger but the body still reacts exactly as if they are.
Of course, we all suffer from moments of anxiousness from time to time. Our errant thoughts can run astray and make us hypersensitive as to all the numerous things that could go wrong in life, and don’t we always think the worst? Left unchecked, this can develop into some sort of anxiety disorder, and you don’t want that.”

“When this happens, your body consistently starts to release adrenaline, behaving as if you are in a terrifying and life-threatening situation. The chances are you are not in a life-threatening situation, but your stress response activates anyway. You will breathe more rapidly but shallowly. In a panic attack, the individual can end up hyperventilating. Let’s dismiss one myth here when you breathe shallowly, it does not mean that you need to increase your oxygen levels. Actually, it is the opposite. It means that you are over-breathing, shallow rapid breaths and exhaling carbon dioxide far too quickly before your body can make more.
Let’s consider the importance of breathing correctly. Inhale, and oxygen levels increase. But carbon dioxide actually takes time to develop and so, when the breath is shallow, you emit more CO2 than your body creates. It is this that will eventually lead to hyperventilation.

Now, as you hyperventilate, your body feels as if it is not getting sufficient levels of oxygen. Therefore, you start to take even more quick breaths in as you’ll feel panicky and of course, this makes it worse.
Hyperventilation will lead to other side-effects including:


Feeling weak
Tingling sensation Feeling feint
Increased heartbeat
Chest pains
Dizziness
Aches and pains
Reduced mental clarity.


Surprisingly, shallow breathing is one of the most important things to control, and if you can understand how shallow breathing is connected to anxiety, it makes it so much easier to deal with it.


Slow breathing
You may not want to slow your breathing down during an anxiety attack, but it is important to fight the urge to take deep, fast breaths but instead, just to slow down the breathing cycle. To do so, focus on your breathing and make each breath deliberate. Counting can help, and you should inhale for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 2 seconds and then, slowly breathe out for an extended period, for 6 to 7 seconds.”

The Goddess Bibles

A Memoir By Laura Zukerman

Anxiety and Stress

“Some people seem to find it easier to cope in life, have you ever wondered why? I found myself doing just this. My findings were surprising. Research led by Harvard University, the University of Oregon and the University of Texas revealed that very effective leaders all share a similar mindset but, not just this, they also share similar hormone levels. The more powerful the leader, the higher the levels of testosterone.


This simply means that those with higher levels of testosterone are naturally primed to be more assertive, relaxed and confident. They will be less reactive to stressors and be able to handle the bombardment of pressure quite well. In addition, there’s one physical cue which impacts both hormones and that’s body language. So, if you can improve your body language, you will naturally increase testosterone while decreasing cortisone levels and this means, less stress but more confidence.


This leads me directly into power body poses.
Power poses are intriguing. Amy Cuddy is a researcher based at Harvard University and she and her team have identified that different body positions equate to high power or low power poses. High power poses tend to be open and relaxed while low power poses will be closed off and guarded.

“They studied the impact of these poses in a research study on 42 students. Saliva was taken from each of them and cortisone levels and testosterone levels were then measured. Afterwards, each person was asked to sit in either high power or low power poses for approximately 2 minutes. After which, an additional sample saliva was taken and cortisone and testosterone levels were measured yet again.

The results were stunning. High power poses serve to increase testosterone by approximately 20% and they found that cortisone levels decreased by 25%. When you consider the ability to exude confidence and cope with daily pressures, this is significant.
Try this well-known and versatile power pose so you can see what I mean. Its nickname is ‘The Wonder Woman’ pose and, you simply stand tall, with chest out and hands on the hips. It’s certainly a power stance and irrespective of its name, it is just as important to men as it is to women. Try it now and then see how you feel afterwards.”

“I mentioned before that our body language speaks volumes about us. If you are a little worried as to those secretive body language communications, try to build in some body language checks each day and insert a higher power pose into your routine each morning for approximately 2 or 3 minutes.
When you do so, close your eyes, breathing in deeply for a count of 3, you can hold the breath for just a second and then, breathe out fully for a count of 5. If this is difficult, you can reduce the count – say for 2, 1 and 4 counts. You can also combine breathing exercises with power poses for maximum benefits. I use power poses with meditation at the start of my day and I feel great afterwards.

As you are only investing a couple of minutes, you will have time for it.
Body language is important but it’s not everything. One thing for sure is that confidence affects both your mind and body. Your personality and emotional state of mind will no doubt affect your levels of confidence but improving your body language by taking up one of the power poses, will certainly increase physical presence and make you feel so much better.
You can use these power poses quickly and efficiently in every situation.

Think about a difficult presentation in front of your boss or colleagues. Imagine you are waiting to be called in and you start to feel nervous and your hands are sweating. Find a quiet space and take a moment to adjust your posture. Put your hands on your hips, keep your chin up, have your chest out and visualize the pose. If you can just do this for a couple of minutes before you attend your meeting or your interview, your testosterone levels will increase as will your confidence. You will also naturally and quickly lower your stress levels.”

The Goddess Bibles

A Memoir By Laura Zukerman

Our Mind and Body Are Connected the As If Method

Our mind and body are connected. It’s true. Although many people think that they are separate, they actually hold great influence over each other. When you work on one aspect of self, you impact the other. Let me explain this. Have you ever felt really nervous? I know I have. Your mind may race, and your nerves jangle and these thoughts and feelings manifest on a physical level too. Have you ever experienced that dry mouth and headache when you were nervous and worried about what was to come?


It’s important to understand the mind and body connection. Let’s say you are waiting to be interviewed for a job and you become so nervous and are worried about your abilities. Let’s face it. It’s easy to be plagued by qualms and to start running a negative script in your mind. But think back to that experience, I bet it wasn’t just your mind that was affected but your body too. You may have felt a little nauseous while your tummy did somersaults and maybe, you even started sweating a bit. This proves that your thoughts and your emotions affect you on a physical level.

“If you feel stressed or have unresolved issues, they will only play havoc with your mind and body. If thoughts are negative, you really must identify and resolve them as it could lead to unhealthy behaviors and, you may even find you become unwell or ill. Of course, I am not implying that every single illness or accident that occurs is because of your mindset, but believe me, it plays a significant role. If you can understand this, you will be able to take greater control of your life.


Try thinking of your life as a big jigsaw puzzle, this really worked for me. I looked at each aspect of my life, breaking key elements into smaller pieces. I did this and learned that each part of my life had a significant role to play. When one part didn’t function well, it affected everything else. You cannot ignore the importance of your thoughts and feelings and how they manifest within the physical body.


Repressed memories may suddenly manifest into thoughts. When this happens, these are powerful and can have a far-reaching effect. It is important to deal with repressed emotions and seriously, having awareness gives you an advantage.

“When I was trying out As If, I took the time to think about my learned behaviors, those gleaned through parental advice or, through witnessing behaviors. I also looked at my personal experiences. I did this because when events occur, we react by way of information and experiences, these become reference points for our actions. If you can change these behaviors or experiences, if you can use As If to make your response to any situation more positive, boy, will you notice a significant difference. Simply, it becomes a reference point for your mind.
As If can be used at any time and in any place.


Let’s consider that you have some seriously challenging situations ahead of you. You may feel unconfident and doubtful and in some cases, perhaps that dreaded job interview, you may even be filled with dread. If you can tap into the ‘As If’ system and start to act as if you are confident, your thoughts will naturally become more positive. You’ll visualize strong images of how you want to think and act.
Once you start to feel more confident, your actions become instinctive and learned.”

“You’ll learn to understand your thoughts and be in control, readily identifying the inner two-way communication and making it work for you. Let’s be clear here. Your mind is powerful, and once you tame your thoughts and use your mind in the best way possible, you’ll improve your life.”

“When you are alert and ready for anything in life, your posture is also likely to be good. When you are less than alert or feeling down, you are likely to adopt poor posture. Try adjusting your posture, do it right now, sit up straight and pull those shoulders back. I bet you start to feel better immediately.


There have been many experiments into body language and so this is not me just saying it. Psychologists discovered that emotions may also have a strong connection with specific body postures. During these experiments, people were asked to generate a strong negative emotion – let’s use fear as an example and to place their body in a position that for them, depicted fear. When they had done so, they were asked to remain in this position but to also try to generate happiness, they found it much harder to do so. So, this links body posture to emotions.
It’s impossible to not get stressed from time to time.

We all know that life is stressful at times, but, the lesson of the day is that it’s how you deal with it that is the most important. Have you ever noticed that some people do not seem to react to daily stressors? They just deal with it… right? Think about a time when you have felt highly stressed and perhaps the outcome was not so good. Afterwards, we often have to deal with regret or, kick ourselves when we respond badly, but our responses are fueled by our learned behaviors, our thoughts and feelings. When using body language, breathing techniques and As If, we can change our actions.


If you had to face a similarly difficult situation next time, and used the ‘as if’ process, you would be able to outwardly project very different emotions, feelings and actions and, nip any damaging thoughts in the bud.”

The Goddess Bibles

A Memoir By Laura Zukerman

Interrelation of Body and Brain


¶ So today we see man a highly evolved creature who not only acts but thinks and feels. All these thoughts, feelings and emotions are interrelated.

The body and the mind of man are so closely bound together that whatever affects one affects the other. An instantaneous change of mind instantly changes the muscles of the face. A violent thought instantly brings violent bodily movements.

Movies and Face Muscles
¶ The moving picture industry—said to be the third largest in the world—is based largely on this interrelation. This industry would become extinct if something were to happen to sever the connection between external expressions and the internal nature of men and women.

Tells Fundamentals
¶ How much do external characteristics tell about a man? They tell, with amazing accuracy, all the basic, fundamental principal traits of his nature. The size, shape and structure of a man’s body tell more important facts about his real self—what he thinks and what he does—than the average mother ever knows about her own child.”

“Learning to Read
¶ If this sounds impossible, if the seeming incongruity, multiplicity and heterogeneity of human qualities have baffled you, remember that this is exactly how the print in all books and newspapers baffled you before you learned to read.

Not long ago I was reading stories aloud to a three-year old. She wanted to “see the pictures,” and when told there were none had to be shown the book.

“What funny little marks!” she cried, pointing to the print. “How do you get stories out of them?”

Printing looked to all of us at first just masses of meaningless little marks.

But after a few days at school how things did begin to clear up! It wasn’t a jumble after all. There was something to it. It straightened itself out until the funny little marks became significant. Each of them had a meaning and the same meaning under all conditions. Through them your whole outlook on life became deepened and broadened—all because you learned the meaning of twenty-six little letters and their combinations!”

The Goddess Bibles

A Memoir By Laura Zukerman