When Stress Steals YOUR Breath Away
Happy Self-Care Sunday! What are your Self-Care Sunday plans?
I wanted to share with you my recent experience with my first brand photo shoot. It was truly empowering, to say the least, and I gained a whole new level of confidence and assertiveness after it. Check out my post on my Instagram or Facebook.
Did you know that thankfulness or gratitude is the quickest path to joy?
🙏🏽 Gratitude Practice 🙏🏽
What is 1 self-care habit you are thankful for?
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We take up to 23,000 breaths per day, so why not make sure we do it right?
Breathing exercises can be a great way to help relieve stress and anxiety and make our lungs stronger. Belly breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which runs from the head down the neck, through the chest, and to the colon. This activates our relaxation response, reducing heart rate and blood pressure and lowering stress levels.
Breathing is something most of us take for granted because it’s automatic, and we’ve been doing it since the day we were born. Our breath frequency is a valuable antidote to stress, and it’s with us wherever we go right under our nose. Studies show that diaphragmatic breathing exercises are effective non-pharmacological interventions to reduce anxiety, depression and job stress and improve sustained attention.
According to research, deep breathing techniques, in particular, improve mood and reduce stress. Some studies even suggest that, in addition to providing immediate relief, regular breathing exercises can make people less vulnerable to stress by permanently modifying brain circuits.
Learn how your breath can help to reduce stress and anxiety here.
One of the ways we can stimulate this nerve is by breathing in for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 7 seconds and breathe out with pursed lips for 8 seconds.
Counting our breaths adds the extra dimension of concentration. This concentration introduces us to important aspects of meditation: focusing on our breath, blocking intrusive thoughts, relaxing and centering ourself.
I invite you to listen to episode #30 of the Self-Care goddess podcast with Anders Olsson “Conscious Breathing Your First Pillar of Self-Care” on Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
In a quiet, comfortable place, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take a long, deep breath through your nostrils. Then slowly exhale. Take five easy breaths through your nose, imagining you are taking the air first into the bottom of your lungs, then moving into your upper lungs. On your in-breath, pause for five seconds. On your out-breath, start counting down from five. It might look something like this:
Inhale, pause, exhale, “5”
Inhale, pause, exhale, “4”
Inhale, pause, exhale, “3”
Inhale, pause, exhale, “2”
Inhale, pause, exhale, “1”
After your fifth out-breath, start counting down from five again. After you’ve completed a few sets, open your eyes and stretch slightly. Keep your focus on counting with slow, easy breaths, letting your breathing find its own rhythm.
Contact me for more details on how to use breathwork to better manage stress and anxiety and to join our FREE monthly breathwork sessions.