The #1 Tip to Quickly Reduce Stress Naturally
“When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.” ~Author Unknown
Stress and Your Body
Many people are experiencing uncomfortable or debilitating stress at work and at home. Often, one feeds the stress in the other. So what do we do about it? Breathe.
The brain doesn’t differentiate between the stress of a lion chasing you and a deadline at work or a mess the kids made. Your stress response is activated when "danger" is perceived, real or imagined. Your body is made up of systems, which are linked, to do certain things while under stress to ensure your survival.
Heart rate increases
Blood pressure is increased
Breathing becomes rapid
Working memory capacity is decreased
How Using Your Breath Helps
While you cannot tell your heart rate to slow or your blood pressure to lower, you ARE able to control your breath. Breathing slower is incompatible with stress responses, so when you breathe slow and deep the other systems automatically slow, too.
Heart beats slower
Blood pressure decreases
Mental acuity returns
"When you consciously decide to breathe more slowly and deeply, you alert your body to the fact that you want it to behave differently. You are not just changing your breathing pattern, you are making a full-body announcement that you are entering into a different relationship with your mind and your body." (Eric Maisel)
Give It a Try
These quick, yet powerful, stress busters will not make your stressors disappear, but they will teach your body to respond in a new way, allowing clear thinking and good decision making. I suggest trying them all to see which one is your personal favorite.
Inhale through the nose for a slow count to four, then exhale through the mouth for a slow count of four. Repeat 3-5 times.
Inhale through the nose for a slow count to five, then hold the breath for five, followed by a slow exhale for a count of seven. Repeat 5-7 Times.
Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take long, slow inhales through the nose, filling the belly with air. (You will notice that the belly rises, while the chest moves very little.) Exhale slowly. Repeat 10 times.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb, and exhaling through the left nostril. Repeat 10 times.
Begin with a long, slow inhale, followed by a quick, powerful exhale generated from the lower belly. Repeat 10 times.
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