This Breathing Technique Stops Stress In Its Tracks
We all breathe about 20,000 times a day and most of us are not doing it properly. Breathing is obviously the most important of all the bodily functions because all other functions depend upon it. Life is dependent upon breathing. Breath is life. Yet, most people are unconscious of their breathing and take it for granted.
‘In spire’ – Latin, meaning to breathe in spirit.
Inspiration is important to extract all we want out of life, to keep us appreciative, motivated and moving forward. But something as automatic as simply breathing can have a huge effect on our energy level and optimal health.
Our inhalation and exhalation extend far beyond just the physical exchange of air in and out of the body. If you are not breathing correctly, your body can be robbed of oxygen, leading to a host of conditions – including enhancing the physical manifestations of stress.
Your skin can suffer as it is not receiving enough fresh oxygenated blood, your muscles can tire easily during a workout as they are not getting the right amount of oxygen and you can feel constantly tired and lethargic because there are not enough vital nutrients being carried in the blood.
Taking slow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and alleviate anxiety, stress, pain and even asthma symptoms. Deep breaths can prevent painful cramps during exercise. When we are stressed, angry or intently focused, we breathe more shallowly or hold our breath without realizing it and this can reduce the flow of oxygen and intensify our emotion and/or physical distress.
Deep breathing allows airways to fully expand for an improved exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This releases stress, tension and creates a calming effect throughout the body.
HOW TO BREATHE TO STOP THE STRESS RESPONSE IN ITS TRACKS
Place your hands on your abdomen and slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. As you inhale, you should feel your belly expand – this is an indication you are doing it correctly. When you exhale, do it through pursed lips as if you’re blowing on a candle, but lightly enough so as not to blow the flame out. Repeat 5 times or as required.
Another version that stops the stress response in its tracks:
Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds and then exhale for 5 seconds. Repeat as necessary.
With everyday use, you will help prevent the negative health effects from stress and create a healthier you – what could be easier than that?