The Last Teaching

Thomas Fredricksen passed away on June 20, 2017. Today we are presenting his last teaching, which he put in writing a couple of months before his departure from this realm.

Learn This Word And Change Your Life

These are extremely anxious times for many people throughout the world.  Changes occur on a daily basis that could not even have been imagined the day before. Many of us are experiencing a level of STRESS, which feels surreal.

Today, I would like to gift an important word or concept to you. I have personally had great results with this as have many of my students. It has even made me a kinder person in the process. Please read on. 

When I teach this one-on-one, I tell my student, We are going to take two words we know quite well and weld them together. The first word is STRESS. We all know that one too well! The second word is EXHALE.

So here is our new word: STRESS-EXHALE

Whenever a stressful event occurs, such as a political concern, an interaction with another person who is distraught, or any kind of bad news (you name it!), we are often thrown off balance. Since such an event is naturally upsetting, a person often starts to hold his or her breath, which normally is followed by a heavy sigh, often through the mouth. Unlike a healthy Breath Hold used for Buteyko breathing exercises, this halting of breathing triggers hyperventilation and a fight-or-flight response. This deep inhalation and holding of the breath then naturally results in an attempt to express ourselves (e.g. through yelling) or we might suppress our feelings and become aloof.

Either way, we have taken the bait of emotionality, so to speak. We are not only moved into an unhealthy state consisting of hyperventilation, pH imbalance, and anxiety, we are also of no benefit to others and may even harm them with our words or cold detachment.

So try it. The second you start to feel stress: EXHALE.

If you stay focused on this gentle and slow exhaling, you will notice that your emotions will start calming down (even if a stressful event continues to escalate). It takes a while to learn to STRESS-EXHALE, but it is very worthwhile.

This calming out breath helps us to respond instead of react. I believe that in most situations, your calmer response will make everything go better not only for you but also for everyone around.

I wish you the best of health.
Always breathe gently!

Thomas D. Fredricksen,
Psychologist and Advanced Breathing Normalization Specialist
Co-Founder of


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