Regardless of your personal feelings for Hillary, you must admit that losing her chance to become first female president of the United States was a pretty big blow. And losing to Donald Trump? We can only imagine what that must have felt like. How did Hillary deal with her loss?
Hillary’s Strategy to Reduce Stress
Recently I watched an interview in which Hillary talked about how she processed the loss. She said Chardonnay was one thing that helped a lot. That part was interesting, but not the relevant part for this post. She said she also used one-nostril breathing, and as you might guess, that’s the relevant part.
Hillary described sitting on her yoga mat with a finger blocking one nostril. She takes a deep breath in through the other nostril and while holding her breath, she switches over to the other nostril. She breathes out slowly through the other side. She keeps repeating this cycle until she no longer thinks of Trump.
DBT Skill: Focused Breathing
Focused breathing is an important Mindfulness skill and one-nostril breathing is one way to do it. The goal is to focus all your attention on your breath, letting all other thoughts drift away. If you notice a thought, acknowledge it, and return to your breath.
It’s important to practice focused breathing regularly. If you only do it when stressed, you will have difficulty focusing. You need to train your mind to focus when there isn’t a going on so that when stressed, your practiced body responds by relaxing.
Try doing focused breathing for five minutes and work your way up. A general rule is to work towards one minute for every year of your age.
If Hillary wasn’t doing focused breathing before the election, I imagine it was very difficult for her to get her mind to cooperate after the election. She stuck with it, and swears it helped her let go. And she does look more refreshed.
To learn more about understanding and managing emotions, check out the links and additional posts below. For specific DBT skills go to DBT Skills in the menu bar.
If you have an experience you’d like to share, add a comment at the bottom of the page. I’d love to hear from you.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi