Today’s post is goal driven toward this week’s intervention.
There’s a reason deep breathing as an intervention has stood the test of time: it’s effective. It is scientifically proven to affect the heart + brain. These days I’ll start belly breathing after ruminating over any thing from capitalism to my financial future- and you can believe I’ll be deep breathing all through 2018. Breathe in calm, exhale anxiety
a visual representation of me thinking about everything I can’t control
Sometimes stress can get so bad it feels as if you’re having a heart attack. It’s a scary space because anxiety doesn’t have you breathing properly. This is why I love belly breathing. Conscious, rhythmic, deep, breathing is scientific proven to affect the heart and brain. If your brain is in pain, it will not perform.
Whether you have the occasional worry or full blown panic attacks, deep breathing is a skill we can all benefit from. Exactly how does it work? Well the neuroscience of deep breathing is pretty straight forward. Panicked brain bad, blood and oxygen good.
When panicked, what are your grounding methods?
This week, figure out what you need to bring yourself back to being present. Create three anchors. I’m not asking you to meditate, exercise, or do yoga. Simply, breathe and deflate.
Positive Distraction of The Week
Chill out; Breathing exercises can help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your spine reasonably straight. Bring your attention to your breathing.
Imagine that you have a balloon in your tummy. Every time you breathe in, the balloon inflates.
Each time you breathe out, the balloon deflates. Notice the sensations in your abdomen as the balloon inflates and deflates. Your abdomen rising with the in-breath, and falling with the out-breath.
Thoughts will come into your mind, and that`s okay, because that is just what the human mind does. Simply notice those thoughts, then bring your attention back to your breathing. Likewise, you can notice sounds, physical feelings, and emotions, and again, just bring your attention back to your breathing.
You don`t have to follow those thoughts or feelings, don`t judge yourself for having them, or analyse them in any way. It`s okay for the thoughts to be there. Just notice those thoughts, and let them drift on by, bringing your attention back to your breathing.
Whenever you notice that your attention has drifted off and is becoming caught up in thoughts or feelings, simply note that the attention has drifted, and then gently bring the attention back to your breathing.
It`s okay and natural for thoughts to enter into your awareness, and for your attention to follow them. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing.
Using a toy soap bubble container and wand (available at any toy store), practice blowing bubbles. The breathing required for blowing soap bubbles is the same as what is used for calm breathing. Wait a second or two before blowing another bubble. Then practice “blowing bubbles” without a bubble wand.
Where To Utilize Quick Breathing
Bed: Start your mornings gently and practice this exercise before you begin your day.
Vehicle: Before you get out of your car and go home.
Irritated: Before you send that text.
Work: Deep breathing at you workplace can not only help you beat stress, it can also make you calmer & more productive through the day.
If you can. Log your anxiety level, 1 out of 10 prior to exercise and then again after you complete the deep breathing. What are your changes?
If you’re not in a panicked state, try a cobra stretch to get the oxygen flowing to your lungs.
Here is also a nifty deep breathing chart that you can print out and put in a different areas of your office and home.
Thanks so much for following up this week. If you’ve got 5 minutes today, you’ll be on track in no time. Let me know how this works for you in the comments below + tag a friend who also needs to chill out. See you next week.
Best, Dr. Dyce