Money & Wellness: Breathe your way out of money-related stress

Are you like me and hold your breath every time you check your credit card balance? We already know we can't run from our finances, but is there a way to actually relax while tackling money issues?

"Even in the best of times, finances are in the top three stressers for most people. In times of economic turmoil that stress quotient intensifies. And chronic stress can have long-term consequences for your personal and financial health," says Kelley Black, founder of Balancing the Executive Life, a program that helps the high-powered, from fashion buyers to record label execs, learn to relax and overcome negative patterned-behavior and situations. Black says that watching the way you breathe, as in, regularly doing yoga-like breathing exercises, is not only good for your health but can help you attain greater prosperity. Sign me up!
Makes sense. The more relaxed you are, the more efficient and less intimidated you'll be to conquer your finances or land that job. Black specializes in teaching deep-breathing yoga and shares her insight on the best breathing techniques for taking care of business. So maybe by using these tips and taking better care of yourself -- which is so important to do right now -- you'll not only survive the downturn, you'll flourish.

Check out Black's tips here, in her own words:

  • If your huge balance sends you into a panic, calm your nerves before checking your bill. Do this by inhaling deeply for at least eight counts. Next, hold your breath and repeat to yourself "I AM" 10 times. This will help your mind focus. Then, exhale as slowly as possible for at least eight counts. When you finish exhaling, hold your breath for 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence three times. It will bring you to a neutral state of mind, so you can strategically plan how best to deal with your debt.

  • You need to be at your at your most receptive, neutral self in order to make decisions that are in alignment with your true vision for your life. Before talking to a prospective employer or going on that big interview, bring yourself into a state of confidence, calm and vitality. Bring your hands in Tatwa mudra (Palms facing each other, fingertips touching with thumbs facing the sky). Inhale for 5 – 10 seconds, hold your breath for 5-10 seconds, exhale for 5-10 seconds. Repeat this cycle 11 times.

  • Remember that your present determines the quality of your future and that whatever anxiety you're feeling your boss is probably experiencing it tenfold. Instead of complaining at the water cooler and absorbing the negativity, stay aligned with your highest self and find the positive in the situation. Bring your hands in Middle Pillar Mudra (palms facing each other at the level of the solar plexus, approximately six inches between them). Inhale deeply, say to yourself "I am a beam of Light. I release any negativity from me to (fill in the blank) and, any negativity from (fill in the blank) to me and places past to the Light." Repeat this exercise three times.

  • Did you know that your breath rate goes off 72 hours before you get sick? If you start to feel run-down or a little off, boost your immune system by blocking your right nostril and deep breathing in/out of your left nostril for three minutes. This will cool your body, boost your rest/relaxation response and clean your blood -- giving your immune system a big boost. Continue this at least once a day for 3-5 days.

  • One of the most powerful ways to bring prosperity into your life is to bless and give thanks for everything. What you bless and give thanks for increases. By practicing gratitude and blessing, you put into practice one of the greatest laws of prosperity and plenty. Expect the very best in life and it will be drawn to you.
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