Cleansing Breath

I think it’s important to discuss what to do when you get stressed, experience fear or just get mad. None of us are impervious to these emotions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to control them better.

I get a bit nervous when I speak. I’ve also had my fair share of stress and anger, but I work daily to get these things under control as quickly as possible.

Anger is probably one of the most negative emotions of all because it holds so many people captive. I’ve found that when you’re dealing with negative people, their whole goal is to suck you into their world of bitterness. We all know that “misery loves company,” so do your best to not accept the invitation.

There’s a scripture in James 1:19 that says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve repeated that in my head when confronted with an opportunity to get mad or react negatively to a situation. The reaction is what typically gets us “engaged” in an argument or dispute, but if we practice what that scripture says we can avoid conflict:


  • Be quick to listen: This helps you from impulsively jumping to conclusions. If you listen before speaking, you’ll have a better chance at understanding what the other person is trying to tell you.
  • Be slow to speak: How many times have you said something that you wish you could take back as soon as you heard the words coming out of your mouth? Yeah, me too! When confronted, it’s so important that we don’t puke out the first thing that enters our mind. After you listen, take a moment to process the information and say something you won’t regret later.
  • Be slow to become angry: If you listen first, and say something thoughtful, it’s much easier not to get angry. You won’t contribute to escalating the situation, and you’ll often help calm the other person down. Worst case scenario, you’ll see how silly or unnecessary the situation is and find a way to exit politely and gracefully.


You will ALWAYS end up in a better place if you refuse to let others “engage” you in a negative situation!

Another great tool you can use when you experience a negative emotion, like fear or anger, is deep breathing. A technique I use is to inhale as deeply as possible through my nose while saying something in my head like a scripture or positive statement, and then exhale while finishing the statement.

For example, you might say to yourself, “for God did not give me a spirit of fear” on the inhale, and then “but one of love, power and a sound mind” on the exhale. Do this with the statement of your choice and watch how quickly the fear goes away.

Oxygen, combined with positive reinforcement, will always outweigh fear or timidity. The problem is that too often we just cave into the fear and give it the freedom to rule our minds. That must stop today.

In addition to breathing deeply with positive affirmations, breathing deeply in and of itself is cleansing and not practiced often enough. Circulating oxygen through the body is an excellent way to calm and center the mind-body experience.

The more you begin to eliminate negative emotions and actions in your life, the more you’ll give yourself the freedom to experience life to the fullest, which incorporates living healthy.


Clark Bartram has earned his reputation as "America’s Most Trusted Fitness Professional." In everything he does, Clark puts forth 100% in the hopes that he can benefit men and women who care enough about themselves and the people they love to do what it takes to "Live the Lifestyle." As a professional fitness model, Clark has appeared easily on the cover of over 130 fitness publications and is considered one of the most successful models in the industry. As a personal trainer, Clark has helped thousands of people transform their bodies and their lives, and is an ISSA Master Trainer. He is also the author of the how-to guide, You Too Can Be A Fitness Model, Spiritually Fit, A Fitness Program You Can Have Faith In and his most recent best selling book called Where Your Mind Goes, You Go.

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