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Let's breathe about it.

Sing to Cure Fear

Uncertainty and the ensuing stress it causes are just part of modern-day life.

Although we have no control over the pressures placed upon us, we do have control over how we respond to these pressures.

And guess what, our breathing is a key to soothing ourselves.

To be more specific, changing how we exhale is a great tool for managing anxiety. Singing, which is a soulful, long-drawn-out exhalation, is a classic example. Since time immemorial sailors have sung sea shanties to calm their nerves in wicked, wild seas. Walt Disney recommended singing in his classic tune, Whistle While You Work. And for eons, spiritual leaders have prescribed singing hymns or chanting as an antidote to stresses that tempt us to sin.

I had two bike accidents in San Francisco and each time healing my fear of getting back on my bike was much harder than healing my physical injuries.

Both times, I used singing to muster up my courage and resume biking.

One song I sing biking on the hazardous streets of San Francisco is
(Sung to the melody of the gospel hymn, This Little Light of Mine)

This bright breath of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This bright breath of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This bright breath of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it Shine!

Won’t let my fears put it out, I’m gonna let it shine
Won’t let my fears put it out, I’m gonna let it shine
Won’t let my fears put it out, I’m gonna let it shine

Breathe out fully, breathe out fully, breathe out fully

So please join me and start singing whenever you bike. Trust me, no one has ever hassled me for singing on my bike. And, no matter where you live, I suspect no one will say anything to you either.

And, please don’t limit yourself to just biking. You can sing anywhere, anytime that you need to calm down. I sing in my car driving in heavy traffic. I sing before I sit down to meditate. My rowing buddies join me in song as we row on the infamous San Francisco Bay.


May you sing as an antidote to stress and inspire others to follow your fine example of using the almighty exhale to alleviate anxiety.

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