Do you ever give a second thought to your breathing? Unless you got COPD(Emphysema) the pro forma answer is no, who cares; it’s working just fine.

Wait, are you going to give me one more stupid thing to worry about? See ya
cause I’m outta here. I just finished half a book this weekend that convinced me
I’m a Warrior, optimistic and a positive doer, so don’t go undermining my

Google: Toltec Wisdom, by Sheri A. Rosenthal, a trained M.D.

Kid Stuff

When you were a baby and need milk, a change of clothes or felt unloved,
you cried and screamed until someone paid attention. But when someone
yelled out, “Stop crying!”, you didn’t know how to turn off your emotions
so you just held your breath and the crying ceased and desisted.

For the rest of your life you have unconsciously maintained that holding-your-
breath strategy during times of stress, anxiety and tension. Bad news because
holding your breath turns on your Sympathetic Nervous System, and its
Fight-or-Flight syndrome.

Why is it bad? It turns your body into a battlefield, creates stress symptoms, and
reduces the effectiveness of your immune system.

Nose Breathing

Most of us are nose, not mouth-breathers. But during and after a dispute with your boss or peers, and certainly with your Significant Other, you start to breathe
through your mouth. We mouth-breathe after traumas like fighting traffic, discovering your ATM withdrawal is denied, and being a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan. So what?

You take short, choppy breaths, filling only the top of your chest, and deprive your brain and body of its deeper supply of oxygen. That makes you feel sluggish and fatigued, and become less productive.

Wanna remember this? Nose-breathing maintains the correct balance of oxygen and
carbon dioxide in your blood. So? Our breathing is regulated by how much CO2
pervades our blood supply. And? Our carotid arteries carry oxygen in the blood
to our 3-pound coconut.

The carotid gets signaled by your level of CO2. Mouth-breathing doesn’t do the trick.
When you mouth-breathe for five-minutes, you activate all the emergency signals
of No-Air, and Fight-or-Flight syndrome takes over. Your brain calls 911 for an ambulance because all systems (heart, pulse, lungs) are in danger.


Over-breathing consists of rapid, shallow, chest-dominated respiration. It’s caused
by anxiety and stress. When you start thinking about not breathing enough, a conscious activity, you generate mental-images of death and dying, causing negative emotions to take over your brain functions. It’s called Amygdala Hi-jack.

Hyperventilation (breathing too-fast) reduces the Co2 in our blood below normal,
causing numbness in hands and feet, dizziness, and even chest pain.

Solution: nose-breathing.

Buddha said: “All phenomena exist for us only when we pay attention to them.
Paying attention brings out the hidden secrets within.”

It is not only our brain that is involved in nose-breathing, but each and every
cell in our body. Each cell has a desire to l-i-v-e, and breathing is the fuel of

When we are in-the-zone, in-the-flow, experiencing peak-experiences in life,
we are nose-breathing. That means deeply, slowly, fully breaths fro the diaphragm
and feeling in-the-moment.

Mouth-breathing changes the body and mind functions by modifying our emotions,
mood and behaviors. Our blood-pressure, heartbeat rate are lowered outside of its
normal routine. Nose-breathing improves “coherent heart frequency, brainwaves
(cycles per second), attention and concentration.”


You can change your breathing patterns after they go negative in less than five-
minutes. It is easy if you have a strategy. You can overcome panic-attacks and introduce positive emotions within the first two-minutes of your strategy.

All it takes is shifting to abdominal (diaphragmatic) deep breathing. The secret
is focusing your attention on how you breath for a few minutes, and then your
breathing programming reverts to your non-conscious system of relaxed respiration.

At the Computer

Become conscious of the rise and fall of your stomach. This five-minute strategy
requires you deep breathing so you see your stomach slowly rise on inhalation,
and fall on exhalation. It is so easy you can do while word processing on your


It works with your eyes open or closed.

1. Your job is to mentally visualize taking in oxygen from the crown of your head (see a ’white-light’) moving downward to the toes of your feet. Simultaneously do it by inhaling, and mentally create the ‘white-light’ moving downward. Breathe in.

2. Now, exhale while visualizing a ‘black-light’ traveling from the toes of your feet,
moving upward and out through your nostrils, and waving ‘bye-bye’ as it exits through your nose

Oxygen in, CO2 out. Google: Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D, www.

Don’t complicate it, just take five-minutes to change your mental attitude, mood
and feelings. Why? Because it returns control of your thinking and feelings to your left-brain of logic and reason.

At the end of the five-minutes you go on autopilot and back to breathing subconsciously, without paying attention to it. It’s a Quick-Fix and better than
aspirins to relieve your anxiety or stress.


The term, “breath-of-life” reminds us to be grateful for the nonconscious function
of our mind and body. Who thinks about our incredible eyesight, the ability to
walk, and taking the next breath? Nobody until it stops being on autopilot.

Go back and learn the Nose-Breathing strategy because it works and puts control
of your life back into your own hands.

Finally, the last quarter of the year is on its way. Learn something important to your personal growth before 2,008 ends.

Would it improve your personal productivity to read books, articles and reports three-times faster than you do now? It is a competitive advantage over your peers.

How about doubling your memory permanently? Ask us how.

See ya,

copyright © 2008
H. Bernard Wechsler

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published
by Barron's; business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator
or speed reading, graduating 2 million, including the
White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents.