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Breathing for Stress Relief

I tend to hold my breath... all the time. I hold it when something wonderful happens, to savour the moment and keep it for a long as possible. I hold it when something bad happens in an effort to stop time, pull it back, make it stop. I hold it when I'm angry or sad; thinking that by sucking all the air in perhaps I can stop the tirade of all that I really want to say.

But, breath is life. Breath brings us back to center, grounds us and helps us to move; and move through whatever is happening - good, bad or otherwise.

Breath and breath-work is something I'm only recently starting to embrace, but men like Whim Hoff or Yogic practitioners have been leaning into this for such a long long time.

When I gave birth to my baby boy, I breathed through it and slowed him down. (He was born in 49 minutes!). I breathed through the overwhelming sensations, and found relief in my own self. I find great relief in breath when I walk, or hike the back country. There is simple joy in relishing the feeling of life in and out.

In the light of the recent pandemic, we all fought fear to breathe unhindered, unmasked and free... and for some of us, we fought simply to keep breathing...

----->. Read on.

Have you ever paid attention to how you breathe when you're at ease? Take a minute to observe how your body feels the next time you're calm. You may have already noticed a shift in your mood. Your breath is a tremendous tool for reducing anxiety and reducing stress. Breathing exercises might assist you in relaxing since they simulate how your body feels when it is already calm.

Deep breathing is one of the most effective methods for reducing stress in the body. When you breathe deeply to relax, the things that happen when you are stressed, such as elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, and high blood pressure, all diminish. Besides deep breathing, there are several short breathing techniques that you can incorporate into your daily routine to give you a soothing sensation in times of stress.

Counted Breathing

Counting your breaths can be beneficial for both pace and meditation. This approach aids with speed by allowing you to lengthen your breath and extend yours exhales.

Dr. Andrew Weil, a health guru, recommends "4-7-8 breathing." Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of seven, then exhale for eight with this choice. This allows you to take a breather between each breath and slow things down.

Breathing through Both Nostrils

This breathing exercise variant has been used as meditation breathing for thousands of years. Put your finger over your right nostril when you inhale and only breathe through your left. Switch nostrils on the exhale and exclusively breathe through your right. You may breathe at whatever rate seems most calming to you, whether it's a 5-8 ratio, a 4-7-8 ratio, or whatever tempo you want. For a total of five minutes, repeat this exercise.

Muscle Relaxation That Gets Better Over Time

In this approach, you breathe in as you contract a muscle group and out as you release it. Progressive muscle relaxation aids physical and mental relaxation. Working your way up your body is a good idea. Tense each muscle group separately. Legs, belly, chest, fingers, arms, shoulders, neck, and face are all included.

A few deep, cleansing breaths might sometimes be all you need to relieve stress from your shoulders, back, or the rest of your body.

Inhale deeply through your nostrils and as much air as you can comfortably take in. Then let it go and concentrate on emptying your lungs. Repeat this breathing technique for a few breaths to relieve stress in your back, shoulders, and other areas where it likes to accumulate.

The Takeover

The vagus nerve, which goes from the brain stem to the belly and is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's "rest and digest" processes, maybe stimulated by changing the rhythm of your breath. While a quick breathing exercise like this may help in the short term, regular breathing practice can help you maintain a sense of well-being and reduce stress at work and elsewhere.

Maybe we can learn to breathe and be more fully together.... CS

More from me.

Trust the Niggle Podcast: Listen Here Where I interview other people who have learned to trust themselves, live out those nudges and who have great boundaries.

Maybe I can help, listen, guide or confirm what you already know. It is a great self care practice to be kind to yourself.

Trust Yourself Journals... Pick your Cover here I found profound relief in writing out my thoughts, ideas, wishes and plans. Keeping an honest journal has been a big part of my ongoing journey to take care of myself... maybe it can be a start for you too.

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