In that moment, he remembered a breathing technique that he had learned in a book called “On Combat” by Lieutenant Colonel Grossman for young officers. It shared a breathing technique whereby you breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, out for a count of four, hold for a count of four, like a square breath.
In that moment, he remembered it, and he started to breathe in this way. Thanks to that, he had the presence of mind to check in on his men, make sure they were all OK. He had the presence of mind to give orders to call for help. He had the presence of mind to tourniquet his own legs, to prop them up, and only then, when he had done his duty, when he had taken care of everything, he lay back, and that’s when he passed out.
Later, he found out that had he not had that presence of mind, he would have fallen into a coma, or he would have bled to death. Jake attended my wedding, he’s a friend. He’s wearing prosthetics, and it hurts him a lot to stand. Yet, at my wedding I saw him dance.
If Jake can have the presence of mind, thanks to the breath, so can we. It’s one of the greatest secrets out there, and I really hope you take it home with you, because I really think it’s an idea worth sharing.
Download This Transcript as PDF here: Breathing Happiness_ Emma Seppälä at TEDxSacramento (Transcript)
Resources for Further Reading: