Stressed? Who Isn’t

Are you breathing? Like, Really Breathing?

In times of uncertainty and dramatic upset of normal routines and schedules, it is completely normal to have increased stress. Pile that on top of the baseline stress that most modern humans have, and it is amazing what functions start to diminish, from digestion to sleep to even just breathing.

Focused breathing is an easy and highly effective way to immediately de-stress. Now, I get it if you are reading this and thinking, “Of course I’m breathing; I’m alive.”  And that is the point. For most of us, unless we are devoted yoga students or well trained athletes then we often don’t breathe properly. So, yes, we may be breathing, but it’s sub-optimal, shallow breaths that don’t fully expand the lungs and therefore don’t give us the full benefit of oxygen we need to be our best. And being our best in times of stress or even crisis, when we need it most, makes a huge difference in our sense of responsiveness and overall well being.

An added benefit to proper breathing technique: it is healthier for your lungs, which is the primary target for the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus.

Let’s get to it!

Steps for proper breathing and for de-stressing:

  1. Place your dominant hand gently on your belly.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose.
  3. Exhale slowly and deeply through your mouth.
  4. Did you notice that your shoulders and chest may have risen up as you inhaled, while your belly didn’t move? That is normal, and not ideal.
  5. With this next inhale, expand your belly, adding air also into your lower areas of your lungs and breathing less up in your shoulders and neck. Your hand that is on your belly will feel the air expand and your chest will not rise at all (great job).
  6. Exhale slowly and deeply through your mouth.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, even slower and more deeply if you can.
  8. Nice job. Continue for at least five more cycles, or longer if it feels good.  Close your eyes and imagine being in your favorite place on Earth for a mini-meditative experience.
  9. You may notice how much clearer your head feels, how much more present you feel overall, and hopefully less stressful.
  10. Set a mobile calendar appointment to breathe deeply at least twice a day for even just 5 minutes. If you have an app on your smart watch or mobile for deep breathing exercises, turn on the app and set automatic reminder notifications.

I know it can feel silly to be reminded to breathe. And yet, if you noticed the improvement, then you needed this reminder. And I’m happy to offer it.

I share my work to help you create and be an even better version of yourself, no matter what craziness is happening in this world. We all have levels of improvement, that we often don’t even know are there.  Life improvements can even start with de-stressing through proper breathing. You are welcome.

Offered with love,

Jill

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By |2020-04-02T12:14:13-06:00April 1st, 2020|Categories: Articles, Coronavirus|0 Comments

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