Today is a big day in the Ash family. Isabella's 8th birthday and she is really excited about it. I'm looking forward to a few days of birthday fun!  

Learning to acknowledge the things you are grateful for is important. Not only for keeping perspective but also for creating self awareness. The single most impactful tool I have found that has helped me feel gratitude and develop self awareness is learning to breathe with a purpose

After detailing my current health challenge in yesterday's message, I wanted to talk about some of the tools I have found helpful in creating self awareness. Purposeful breathing in particular has been extremely impactful in helping me deal with stress, increase focus, relaxation, and ultimately improve my self awareness.  

Now how does self awareness have anything to do with stress management, focus, and relaxation?

Self awareness is fundamentally knowing what your strengths are (i.e., what you are good at, or what you do well) and knowing where you struggle and need help from others. Becoming self aware is essential to achieve true health and performance.

Why? Because without it you will aways be on the defensive - protecting, avoiding, escaping. The moment you acknowledge and accept your strength and struggles you will start to live your life in away the best supports your health and performance. 

Let's face it, our world today encourages distraction, escaping, and avoiding. You want to get away, just look at your mobile device. Purposefully breathing is a great tool to help you create self awareness.

There are two tools I have found very helpful in developing a breathing practice:

1. 4-7-8 breathing technique (see video below) - takes as little as 3 minutes 

2. Head Space App for guided meditation - 10 minutes best done first thing in the morning

At the end of each breathing practice I take a moment to think of 1 to 3 things I am grateful for in my life (wife, daughter, family, people I have the privilege to work with, an opportunity, etc.). The most important thing to do is feel itI Take in every emotion the comes along with each thing you feel gratitude for. This ends up being an awesome way to start the day. Its impossible to feel stress, anger, fear, of any negative emotion when you feel gratitude. 

I challenge you to join me and develop a breathing practice for 1 week.

7 days that's it.

It does not have to be complicated. 

You have 3 minutes. No excuses. This will change your life if you let it. 

Talk with you soon,


P.S. Let me know if you need help developing your own self awareness. Email me at or send me a note on facebook and let's chat. Our nutrition coaching program and Coaching Programs help you develop your self awareness to help you achieve your ideal health and performance.