Happy Self-Care Sunday!
Showing gratitude can make you more optimistic. Studies show that those who
express gratitude regularly appear to have a more positive outlook on life.
🙏🏽 Gratitude Practice 🙏🏽
Go around the dinner table and have each person state something general they are thankful for, and something specific to that day that they are thankful for.
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“When You control your breathing, You control your mind”.
According to Patrick McKeown on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast episode #60; One fundamental thing in breathing correctly is the importance of exhalation. Focus on the exhalation whenever you’re in a difficult situation. Your breathing might be getting a little faster and harder. Simply focus on the exhalation and really slow down the speed of the exhalation. When you slow down the speed of the exhalation, your body is telling the brain that everything is okay. You might not be in total calmness, but you can still influence it to some degree. We all have small situations that happen during the day and these small situations are a great practice for learning how to control our breathing. So, when something bigger goes wrong, we can tap into it.
Join the monthly online New Moon Breathwork Experience here.
Breathing affects every single system of the body, so it makes sense that our breathing patterns would strongly influence our well-being. Poor breathing habits, such as shallow, chest breathing and holding our breath insidiously can wreak havoc and have been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, lack of energy, poor posture, and low back and neck injuries.
There is a growing body of evidence that breathing with an emphasis on exhalation helps us relax, prevent disease, and enhance health. A slightly longer exhale as is also called Hail the Exhale and in Chinese Medicine, this breathing style is known as “Buddha’s Breath.” Yogis have intuitively known about the virtues of exhaling and often train others to exhale longer by reciting prayers out loud, chanting, and singing. Scientists are just beginning to understand how exhale-dominant breathing benefits us. Blowing air out stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS governs the relaxation response that combats stress and enables us to relax, digest nutrients, express ourselves, heal, and recover from trauma and injuries. The PNS also helps us appreciate beauty, feel pleasure, and think of creative solutions to our problems.
Check out my amazing podcast “BREATH: A Powerful Tool To Relieve Anxiety” episode #60 on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Current research shows that extending your exhales also plays a role in preventive medicine. Scientists are linking low-grade chronic inflammation to a myriad of common diseases and medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, and stroke. Who knew that waiting to exhale could be so detrimental to our health?
A focus on exhalation offers a way of increasing the fullness and the efficiency of the inhalation, especially when the breath is limited in different ways.
When you’re feeling stressed, scattered, or overwhelmed, focusing on the exhale will help neutralize those feelings and settle both the mind and body. Our outward breath is neurologically tied to the relaxation response in the brain, that’s why we sigh when we’re relieved.
Try out this Simple Practice
- Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Allow your body to be comfortable yet alert.
- Start to slow down your breath, deep inhales and slow exhales
- As you slow down your breath, start to extend your exhale to twice as long as your inhale.
- Inhale for 3; exhale for 6
- Follow the pattern ”In” for 3, “Out” for 6—for 5 full minutes. If you can lengthen the outward breath even more than a 6-count, even better.
- Notice how your mind calms down as you slow down your breath and focus on your exhales.
- When your 5 minutes are up, take a few deep breaths before opening your eyes.
You can use this practice any time you’re stressed to take the edge off. Try to keep that stillness and internal focus as you move back into your day.
I am a certified Breathwork Facilitator. Connect With Me to know more on the amazing power of breathwork and learn some breathwork techniques than can help you better manage yourself.