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I grumped all over my husband last night. I let him know he got it WRONG.

This time of year—when you’re surrounded by holiday cheer—it’s tempting to be a Grinch.

You’re tired. You’re overwhelmed. You’re sugared up on too many Pumpkin Spice Lattes.


Your relationship needs your breath

I bet you rarely think about breathing. It’s this magic thing that just happens. Isn’t that cool? What keeps you alive is something you can take completely for granted.

But when you get lost in the land of Grinching, your breath can melt your icy shell. Your breath can warm up your heart so it can grow two sizes today.

Try it

Breath in. Slowly. Through your nose. As you exhale, pretend your finger is a candle in front of you and gently bend that flame over.

You know how to blow out a birthday candle with a huge PUFF. This is different. No big-bad-wolfing here.

See how long you can keep that flame bent without blowing it out.

3 breaths can help your relationship?

My clients notice a difference in the way they feel after only 3 of these mindful, deep breaths.

I find it utterly amazing that we carry with us something so transformational, absolutely everywhere we go.

You don’t even have to remember to pack it. Your breath is always with you.

Use candle-breathing when…

  • Your mother-in-law calls and asks you for the fourth time when you’re coming for the holidays even though you’ve told her and texted the details. Here she is, asking again!
  • You feel alone and lonely in the midst of all the people who seem to naturally know how to celebrate
  • You realize you just burned the batch of cookies you’re taking to the office party

Notice how those three candle breaths soothe you.

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Why this works

When we get afraid (or lonely, overwhelmed, or feel taken for granted) your amygdala gets hijacked and sends a signal: DANGER!!

While that signal may have served our ancestors well when they were running from the sabertoothed tiger, it’s a little overkill when you burn the cookies.

When your amygdala is hijacked, your breath gets shallow. Your muscles tighten. These physical symptoms tell your body you’re not OK.

When you mindfully smooth your breath, and take time to let oxygen reach deep into your system, you calm that amygdala.

My hope for you

I wish you the best this season of celebration has to offer.


When (not if, but when) you feel ungrounded—either by stress or so much joy you can’t stand it—I hope you’ll remember your breath is always there for you.


3 Breathing Meditations

This week on the podcast, I offer you some breathing meditations. I’ll be with you in those moments when you need calming. When it’s tricky to return to your breath on your own.

Listen to them here.

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