Monday, January 25, 2016

Deep Breathing Practice

It is important for each of us to have some form of daily stress release built into our routine.  Stress release practices help to calm and relax our central nervous system and support healthy adrenal function.  Stress release practices help us to feel more grounded and more able to manage the sources of stress in our lives.  
Deep breathing is a simple form of stress release that anyone can do - it requires no equipment, no extra training, and is free! 

Pick a space that is quiet and private/with no distractions.  Pick a length of time that feels manageable (5-10 minutes is great) and set a timer for the length of the practice.  Sit in a comfortable/upright position.  When we breathe in, our abdomen should rise/come out.  When we breathe out, our abdomen should fall/go in.  If we find this difficult, it is helpful to place one or both of our hands on our abdomen - it acts as a good guide/encouragement for deep full breathing.   For many of us, it is helpful to count our breaths (or repeat a mantra/saying if more comfortable) - in, out, one, in, out, two and on.  Everyone's mind wanders during deep breathing - when we catch our self thinking and no longer counting, we just start back at one and continue forward from there.  Reaching a certain number isn't a goal - committing to sitting for the length of time we have set out each day is.  The more consistently we practice deep breathing (or any other form of quiet/internal focused stress release), the easier it becomes to focus more clearly and deeply, the less frequently we will find our selves returning to the number one.  As well, the more consistently we practice deep breathing, the easier it will be to note the impact it has on our daily lives and the way we respond and react to stressful events.  

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