Our breath is the most powerful tool to access our awareness, to calm us, and even energize us.
Yet, most of us don’t take advantage of these benefits. Rather, we take shallow breaths which restrict our muscles and denies our bodies of much needed oxygen.
As a yoga teacher, I am constantly reminding my students to breath. Thus, I was thrilled to get a text from a friend recently to let me know she was in a stressful situation, but choose to “breathe through it” and that made ALL the difference!
Stress is at the core of most diseases - and most of us live stressful, busy lives. As wonderful as the holidays are...it can add to our stress.
The best way to stay present as life happens all around you, is to observe your breath. Breathe deeply and you will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which relaxes you. And with the holidays coming up there is no better time to start breathing deeper than NOW!
A few benefits from deep breathing
- It calms you
- Detoxifies your body
- Relieves pain
- Makes you happier
- Improves your posture
- Increase cardiovascular capacity
- Gives you energy
- Improves digestion
- Strengthens your major organs
There are several breathing techniques you can try. Dr. Andrew Weil believes everyone can benefit from the 4-7-8 breath.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. Repeat for four breaths.
Try practicing it everyday, then when the crazy stuff starts and it will, combat it with this breathing technique and see what happens. Trouble sleeping? Try it to help you fall asleep.
P.S. If this doesn't help, take my husband's advice and hang out with your dog more!