I can be impatient so sometimes when I’m learning a skill, I put myself in a position that forces me to quickly master it.
Most people aren’t mindful of their breathing, which causes an unneeded amount of stress and anxiety. I’d like to remain healthy and look youthful for as long as I can, so anything that reminds me to breath mindfully I am a fan of.
Yoga has been extremely valuable in teaching me how to breathe, but the most effective teacher has been scuba diving. Scuba diving taught me how to breathe properly, instantly.
I’m not a strong swimmer so naturally, being underwater is a stressful situation for me. Oddly enough, that’s also what I like about it. Sink or swim, literally!
The first time I did a “discovery dive” (open water for beginners), I used an insane amount of oxygen in my tank from breathing so hard, almost to the point of panic. Luckily the instructor reminded me, “Whatever happens, just remember to BREATHE.”
The next time I went underwater I learned that nothing is scary nor difficult if you learn to calm your breath. I became in tune with how it affected my body and well-being. I ascending and descended in a meditative state. I didn’t get scared when the regulator was pulled out my mouth. I mastered…my breathing!
Thanks to my instructor for my Zen pic. 🙂
So if you want to quickly master something, put yourself in a situation that forces you to learn. And obviously, be smart about it. Don’t be jumping into the deep end of a pool without an instructor in order to learn how to swim.
Of course you can’t always put yourself in a literal sink or swim position, but you can create one by having repercussions. For example, tell a friend you’ll give them a large sum of money if you don’t achieve something, or better yet, donate it to an organization that you HATE. The possibilities are endless and I like to make things fun.
P.S. If you can learn to be calm and breathe in a stressful situation, you can handle anything in life. Learning this has been invaluable to me.