Okay, so you’re stressed, your breathing is labored, and you need to calm down quick, and what does every one usually say? Take a deep breath. Well I’m telling you not to do that.
What?? Calming your breathing isn’t difficult at all, once you realize that the universe does most of the work for you. And when you are anxious, stressed or panicky, the universe will be nice enough to do half of the job for you to help calm you down, but you have to work with it and not fight it.
The universe will fill you up with air, oxygen, and prana (the life force), as long as you make space for it. The secret is in the exhale. When you feel unstable breathing, the last thing you want to do is keep taking in breaths of air, you may spark hyperventilation. You do not need to force air into your body, it fills up on its own.
What you should do is begin with an exhale, let out all of your air, fully and completely, and leave the inhale alone. You will see, it does it all by itself. Most of the time, the job of breathing is done automatically. The only “regulating” you need to do is increase your exhale to make more space for that precious air that is just waiting to pour into your body. The atmospheric pressure says so. You can’t stop it unless you purposefully resist it. The universe wants to fill you with life so much, so let it. Keep making the space for your prana and make sure you exhale completely and make some room for it!
This simple interpretation has done wonders for me. Whenever I would get upset, worried or start freaking out about something, I would try to calm my breathing by deeply inhaling and then exhaling. I still felt that something was being held and resisted inside of me and never felt 100% relief. When I just begin with the exhale, and then surrender to the inhale, it is the greatest relief in the world.