Taking Time To Decompress

Let’s face it, the stress we experience today is here to stay!  We can’t always control the stress in our lives, but we can control how we react to it.

Finding natural ways of reducing stress is crucial for maintaining optimal health, as it can improve mood, boost immune function, promote longevity, aid in weight loss, and allow you to be more productive. When you let stress get the best of you, you put yourself at risk of developing a range of illnesses – from the common cold to severe heart disease. Stress has such a powerful impact on your well-being because it is a natural response that is activated in the brain.

So, what can you do to shift yourself into a healthier pattern and reduce stress? One option is to practice deep breathing exercises.  These exercises can reverse your body’s natural reaction to stressful conditions, which will help you manage negative emotions and even physical pain more effectively.

Deep breathing provides your body’s cells with oxygen, essential for fat burning and cellular efficiency.  It stimulates your lymphatic system to get rid of toxins.  Studies have shown that if your breath is shallow, also known as chest breathing, your cells are receiving less nutrients and your lymph system may be more sluggish, both of which may lead to weight gain, according to the study.

Start today by engaging in the breathing awareness exercise below.

 

  1. Lie down in a comfortable, quiet place. Allow yourself to be free from distractions for at least 5-10 minutes.
  2. Give yourself a moment to start relaxing your muscles. Seek out places that are holding tension and release it.
  3. Inhale deeply, filling your lungs with air. Bring the air into your abdomen, not just your chest. Count slowly to five as you inhale.
  4. Exhale deeply, emptying your lungs completely. Again, count slowly to five as you exhale. As you exhale, release tension from your muscles.
  5. Continue to inhale and exhale deeply for several minutes, counting slowly to five each time. Concentrate on your breathing and counting. Let your mind take a break from distractions.
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