How often have you put “relaxing” on your list of things to do, intending to take time for yourself tomorrow, because you simply don’t have the time today?
What if, creating the feeling of peace and calm you so desperately desire were as easy taking three to four deep breaths?
Happily, it is just that easy.
You see, when you are stressed out, or experiencing a moment of anxiety, anger, or other strong emotions, a simple deep breath can literally work miracles in your system. Your mind-body is profoundly connected.
Stressed and Stuck in a Loop:
When you feel STUCK or STRESSED three things happen*:
You engage in shallow chest-breathing when anxious or upset rather than deep abdominal breathing designed to bring in a lot of oxygen. Our bodies do this automatically, as part of the preparation for a fight-or-flight response. However, if you don’t need to put your dukes up for a good fight or to run for the hills to save yourself, this aspect of mind-body connection begins to work against you.
Every one of your billions of bodily cells requires oxygen as a source of energy. When oxygen is in short supply, due to shallow-chest breathing, an “all-is-not-well” alarm is sounded in the brain and body and your fight-or-flight response is activated and a vicious cycle ensues.
The stress hormones released during a fight-or-flight response are designed to keep you anxious and your breathing shallow. This type of limited breathing fails to engage your diaphragm: it remains stuck and so does the state of your agitation.
Think about it. The last time you were agitated, anxious, upset, and stressed out, how clear was your thinking? How in control of your emotions were you?
Giving Your Wise Self Some Breathing Room:
Your wise self, the one who is able to make sound decisions, needs peace and calm to plan the next move. You can’t be all hopped up on stress hormones and expect to conquer anxiety, the feeling of being overwhelmed, or to come up with the best solutions when you are in the midst of a fight-or-flight response.
Creating a calm, spacious, environment, internally, is important to your immediate health, well-being, and for your future. It is the foundation from where you begin to redesign your life – a thoughtful, organized, clear space.
The quickest way to bring you back home to yourself is to take a BIG, deep looong, sloooow breath.
Not only can a deep breath be a great reminder to bring yourself back to a centered place instead of spiraling out of control with the events or people around you, a deep belly breath is a great distraction from fear or pain.
A deep belly breath improves the oxygen supply to your mind-body and immediately enhances your perception of control by reigniting your brain functions and helps turn off the switch you threw when you spiraled into a fight-or-flight reaction.
A deep belly breath re-engages your diaphragm and the fresh air into your lungs begins to lower your agitation, heart rate, and blood pressure.
A Fast and Easy Mini-Moment (or how to Regain Your Equilibrium):
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
2. Take a slow, deep breath.
3. Notice movement in your chest; notice movement in your belly.
4. Place a hand on your abdomen, just on top of your belly button.
5. Allow you belly to rise about an inch as you inhale. As you exhale, notice your belly falling about an inch.
6. Notice your chest also rising as you breathe into your belly.
7. As you breathe into your chest and move air into your belly you are bringing air into the lower portions of your lungs by using your diaphragm to expand the entire chest cavity.
8. Become aware of your diaphragm moving down as you inhale, back up as you exhale.
9. Relax your stomach; it is impossible to breathe abdominally if your diaphragm can’t move down due to tight stomach muscles.
10. Breathe in through your nostrils and out through your nostrils (or out your mouth).
11. Enjoy the sensation of deep belly breathing for several breaths, or for as long a you wish to relax.
12. Three or four deep belly breaths usually are perfect jumpstart the de-stressing process!
De-Stress and Schedule Some Me-Time:
I invite you to contact me to schedule a COMPLIMENTARY, stand-alone, Time To Thrive Strategy Session with me to explore additional ways you can build a schedule which honors you and actively creates the feeling of peace and calm you deeply desire.
In less than an hour we will get crystal clear about:
- What your ideal, thriving life looks like;
- Uncover hidden challenges preventing this ideal from happening; and
- Develop some key strategies you can put to use immediately towards greater energy and vibrance.
CLICK HERE to schedule a session. With only FIVE days left to claim this offer, why not jump in?
You’ll come out of our chat with a vision of what’s possible – it will motivate and inspire you for a while to come – I promise!
* Resource: Alice Domar, Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life.