Stress Relief Breathing practice
Feeling stressed and want some relief now?
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We are all always breathing all the time.
Your breath is also always with you.
Here’s how you can take what you’ve got and use it.
Focusing on the breath can support simple awareness in the present moment. This helps the nervous system know that, in this very moment, there is no threat.
In addition, the effects of mindful breathing can engage the body’s brakes (aka the parasympathetic nervous system), giving your body and mind some relief.
Three-part breathing is breathing in and out through the nose, while allowing the belly to rise with the inhalation, and pressing the belly gently back toward the spine with the exhalation, imagining your whole torso is filling (from the belly up) and emptying.
You can engage in this kind of breathing at any time.
The best thing about the breath—other than how effective it is at helping you bounce back from stress—is that it’s the ultimately portable and practical tool.
Even the simple act of bringing awareness to your breathing can help you get your head back on straight.
If you want to take one step further, breathing in and out more fully may be enjoyable and will help your body and brain receive more oxygen.
You can use the breath to nourish yourself in the midst of a stressful situation, and no-one will be any the wiser.
It’s simple but it works.
Clients and program participants consistently report that the breathing practice is the single most transformative technique I teach.
Even when it’s hard to be consistent with self-care practices, you can breathe, anytime, anywhere.
One participant told the story of how, as she sat waiting for someone in the midst of a busy day, she was thinking about being too busy to engage in her resilience practices. In that moment it occurred to her, “Rather than regretting what I didn’t do, I can breathe right now.” So she did!
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