Reduce Stress In 60 Seconds!
Your breath is potentially your most effective in built healing and stress relieving tool- and it's always available to you! I love working with the breath and have trained as a breath therapist. The breath can be used to calm and relax or to increase vitality and energy. Most of us don't breathe properly and tend to forget about this wonderful in built health supporting tool that each of us can utilise.
I would like to share with you a simple breathing technique to help help you quickly reduce your stress levels and create a greater sense of calm and clarity. It is a great technique for any of us to utilise but can be especially helpful if:
You know that you need to take time out but don’t ever seem to do it
You have the best intentions to start doing some meditation/yoga/relaxation each day but it just doesn’t happen
You feel like you’re in ‘go-go-go’ mode rushing through each day
You feel stressed, scattered and in automatic pilot and not really present to what you’re doing a lot of the time
From what many of the women whom I work with tell me, alot of them feel like they are in fight-or-flight mode, rushing through the day from one thing to the next, trying desperately to keep on top of thing and tick of tasks on the never ending ‘to-do list’. Does this sound a bit like you?
When you’re in this busy, harried state, your sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive, your adrenals are producing lots of adrenaline and cortisol ( stress hormone- which, by the way, affects your blood sugar balance and your hormones and also encourages your body to store fat) to keep you rushing through whatever you need to get done..
You also have another component to your nervous system, the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which promotes rest and repair as well as rest and digest ( have you noticed how being stressed and busy doesn’t do your digestive system or your sleep quality any favours?).
This simple breathing exercise can easily be incorporated into your day at various times to recalibrate your nervous system from stressed and scattered in ‘fight or flight’ mode (sympathetic nervous system activation) to calm and centered (parasympathetic nervous system activation)- and it only takes a couple of minutes!
Simply stop what you are doing for a moment and turn your awareness to your breath.
Then breathe in to a slow count of 6- drawing your breath gently all the way down into your belly (without forcing, straining or over-breathing, just gently).
Then hold your breath for the count of 2 seconds before breathing out again to the count of 6 seconds and holding for 2 seconds before breathing in again to the count of six, holding for 2 and so on.. you will only need to do a couple of rounds before you will notice yourself feeling much calmer and more centered.
A simple cycle of in breath to count of 6
Hold for count of 2
Breath out for count of 6
Count of 2
Breath in again for count of 6 and so on……
This simple technique is great to do before eating to aid your digest (stress reduces your digestive capacity), before going to sleep at night or whenever you are feeling stressed or emotionally unsettled to very quickly install more calmness..
The calmer we are, the more productive we tend to be- when we’re scattered and rushing through whatever we’re doing, we’re not paying attention and are usually far less effective!
So pausing regularly throughout your day, may well help you to not only feel calmer but also to actually achieve more and reach the end of the day feeling less fatigued, irritable and scattered!