One thing you may not know about me: I developed an eating disorder when I was 30 years old.

The catalyst?

Competing in a bikini bodybuilding competition. (Eye roll, I know, I know).

It’s not that I regret competing, I regret not being prepared for what it would mentally do to me afterwards.

For two years after my competition, I battled binge eating disorder and struggled with emotional eating.

I still have bouts with my BED and to this day, struggle with emotional eating.

But the reality is, I think most of us do.

One technique I’ve learned in order to help control my eating disorder is mindfulness.

We hear about mindfulness and the importance of taking the time out of our day to be “mindful” but, honestly, what the hell does that mean and what exactly does that look like?

I want to share some specific breathing techniques with you because the first step in becoming mindful is to become more present and becoming more present means paying attention to your breathe.

It’s a tangible skill and if you are someone who “can’t” sit still to try meditation, having a number of breathing techniques you can do to pull you out of your funk really goes a long way.

Our breathe is contingent on what’s happening in our body, for example, when we’re stressed; our breathe tends to shorten. Our breathe can also help us through a challenging hot yoga class.

We also see the breathe emphasized in meditation for example, in order to transcend. Or how about the focus on breathe during labor through Lamaze breathing.

To put it simply - the breathe is a mode of transportation to become more present to our lives. It all starts and ends with the breathe.

Below are six breathing techniques to help you the next time you go reach for food not because you’re hungry, but to cope with your emotions.

  1. The Bellows breath

  2. Abdominal breathing

  3. The 478 exercise

  4. Counting

  5. Equal breathing “sama vritti”

  6. Alternate nostril breathing

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