“The breath is a tool and can be used in many ways. Some types of breathing exercises definitely improve stress and anxiety. Just cross out “deep” and insert some other modifiers." - Julia Enguland Strait, PhD.
I hope this post does not offend people who begin workshops or meetings with "deep breathing" exercises, it is not my intention. When I began zoom trainings during the pandemic, I would often start with a "Hanu/Hā" or breathing in and out to begin the session, for example, "4-7-8" breathing exercises. Breathing in for four counts, holding for seven counts and exhaling long and slow for eight counts. I personally practice this in the mornings and in the evenings.
After one of my sessions in which I began with breathing exercises, I was given feedback by a participant that they donʻt log on to zoom TIC/self-care sessions because it would start with, "those breathing ʻicebreakersʻ" and this particular individual found it triggering. I found that interesting and started to ask others who were close to me and some agreed that it was indeed something that made them feel uncomfortable. I have since used other mindfulness/centering activities to start my training sessions.
I found this article highly interesting. I would like to hear from you- what do you think? It is always ideal to know you audience when training or counseling and this article may help you in your practice and routines, particularly if you are working with clients that have high-anxiety.