Sometimes my mind feels like it’s stuck in quicksand, slowly sinking and unable to break free.  It could be from the long list of things I have to do, things in the past I wish I could change, insecurities of what others are really thinking about me, past trauma, or the future (just to name a few).  They make my thoughts feel static, overwhelming me with stress and anxiety.

Now, think of some things that stress you out…

How do you deal with stress? Maybe ice cream? Procrastinating? Shifting your focus on to someone else’s problems?

One easy and IMPORTANT way to deal with stress is focusing on deep breathing.  Lay your hand on your chest and notice your breath.  When I did this, I was overwhelmed with school and issues at home.  My breath was quick and I felt a little claustrophobic.  Does your breathing feel constrained?

Long, deep breaths release tension in the mind, spirit, and body.  Noticing the pressure happening in my body, I relax and take in a deep breath through my nose, filling my abdomen and lungs with air.  I exhale the air slowly, releasing my stresses, fears, and concern with it.  I do this for a few minutes.  I feel calm, focused, and at peace.

Try it for yourself and see how you feel:

Not only does deep breathing help relieve stress, it also:

  • Purifies the bloodstream, allowing a detoxification to take place in the body.
  • Allows more efficient digestion because of the increased oxygen that is reaching the stomach.
  • Improved health of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves due to increased oxygen.
  • Skin becomes smoother and healthier with a reduction in facial wrinkles.
  • Healthier more powerful lungs, increasing stamina.
  • Allows heart to last longer and work more efficiently.
  • Fights against heart disease by providing extra oxygen to your heart’s tissues.
  • Relaxes mind and body without inducing tiredness. You feel relaxed and energized at the same time.
  • Releases tension and reduces stress
  • (Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/149086/the_vital_importance_of_deep_breathing.html?cat=5)

It’s crazy to think that something we do naturally, everything single day. can give us so many health benefits, if we just do it a little slower and deeper.

Instead of waking up thinking, “Oh God! Another day; It’s early; I don’t want to wake up; Ugh; So much to do!”, I will take five deep long breaths and say, Thank you.  And throughout the day, I will practice this breathing as many times as I can.  Everyone can handle this.  It’s simple, easy, and relaxing.   Let’s try it together and see if our days make some positive changes.

Image by Laura Crescio

Visit http://www.stress-relief-exercises.com/deep-breathing-exercises.html to get more tips on breathing techniques

“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.”

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