Holidays are often stressful. Despite the fun and excitement of this time of year, it is hard to get by without added stress. With good intentions we take on new tasks and activities to ensure a happy holiday for our family and friends. We do more than time allows. This leaves us tired, exhausted and secretly looking forward to when the holidays are over so we can rest. As the favorite Christmas song goes, “And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again.” It’s a paradox. You love the holidays but don’t love how you do it and wish there was a way to do it with less stress.

You Can Make A Difference

There is something you can do, something that is in your control, something that can relax you and up your energy level at the same time. You can actually become more present and enjoy more of the holidays in ways you never thought possible. Does that sound like something you would like to experience? You can do this by taking some deep breaths and becoming aware of the way you breathe.

Stress Affects the Way We Breathe

Stress is the condition of wanting something one way when the event or action is headed another way. If that thing does not happen, then I will not be happy. Or if this other thing happens, then I will be unhappy. Our mind is often out there somewhere in the future, planning this contemplating that. How we are going to get it all done, we ask. In essence, we are living in the future rather than the now. We miss a lot of the joy of the season as we run around trying to please everyone. This stress causes our breath pattern to become rapid and shallow, blood pressure increases, and we become numb to our surroundings.

Slowing Down Your Breathing Slows Down Your Stress

It seems hard to slow it down but it’s not. When you bring awareness to your breath, you slow it all down because when you are aware of the breath you are aware of the breath in this moment. Therefore, you cannot be in the past or the future. You can only be here now. Through presence, you gain energy and clarity and open to a whole new world around you. You will find it easier to balance your life as you make choices of a higher nature. You will find yourself enjoying the holidays like never before.

So when you are feeling stressed, try the following:
1. Observe your breath? Is your breath short and shallow? Is it in the chest or belly? Are you breathing or hardly breathing? We often stop breathing when we are under stress.
2. Take a deep breath in and count the number of seconds it took to breathe in.
3. When you exhale, breathe out twice as long as it took to inhale. If you inhaled on a count of four, slow down your exhale to a count of eight.
4. Clear you mind. Think about nothing. Sometimes it’s hard to do but if you focus on feeling the breath move through you this will be much easier. You will be in the moment not with some thought in the future or past.
5. Repeat for three full breaths.
6. Note how you feel.

The Benefits of Breath Awareness

You will notice everything slows down. As the mind slows down, the focus of the mind actually increases. You will be less distracted and mental clarity will increase allowing you to make better decisions. You will be less stressed; blood vessels will dilate and your blood pressure will decline. All good things for you and your body. It’s a gift you can give yourself.

Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life

This technique takes about 60 seconds to practice. It takes no time at all. There are no excuses for not doing it. The key to achieving lasting benefits is frequency and repetition. This is a practice. It needs to be done frequently to create a more permanent change in your vibrational frequency. We are all human, and we forget. Place reminders around your house. Some suggestions: put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror and one on your refrigerator, place a note on the dashboard of your car, change the screensaver on your computer, place reminders in your calendar, get your family involved and remind each other. Do this together and you will be amazed at the connection you feel for each other. Minutes a day is all it takes.

Practicing breath awareness regularly brings inner stillness, peace, feelings of open heartedness and love. Isn’t that the real Spirit of the Season? Peace and Joy to you this Holiday Season.

Breathe Well! Be Well! Live Well!

Author's Bio: 

Dave Krajovic, MBA, CPA, NCTMB is an Advanced Pranic Healer, Master Breather, Certified Breath Facilitator, Senior Trainer for the Transformational Breath Foundation and co-founder of the Global Breath Institute. As an international speaker and trainer he has helped thousands restore well-being, renew their passion for life and connect to Oneness through Transformational Breathing Breathwork and the mystery of the breath. You can learn more about conscious breathing by viewing his website at or contact him at 734-416-5200 or