Do you know how to breathe?
I’m guessing the answer is YES or you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now…
But do you know how to breathe to change how you feel?
Most people feel stressed or nervous from time to time (some people feel stressed and nervous most of the time) and I think we can all agree it’s not a great way to feel. Something known as the fight or flight response kicks in and our bodies are flooded with hormones that make us feel jumpy, hyper alert, make our breathing rapid, our palms sweaty, gives us a fluttery feeling in our stomachs, maybe even makes us feel nauseous. In extreme cases this can lead to panic attacks and in chronic cases (ones that last for months or even years) it can have devastating effects on the body, particularly the heart.
But how can you control it? Well one of the ways is to control your breathing. Simply by making your out breath longer than your in breath, you change your bodies chemistry and start to reduce the stress hormones and increase the hormones related to relaxation and sleep. Sometimes this is called 7-11 breathing as it is suggested that you breath in to the count of 7 and breath out to the count of 11. In my experience with clients, they can sometimes find this a little tough and then they get stressed about their breathing, which doesn’t help, so just try taking a deep breath in and then blowing it out slowly through pursed lips – almost like you are whistling, but without making the noise. Do this 5 or 6 times and you should already be starting to feel a difference. A teacher of mine one called this the 60 second tranquilliser, and it really does work that fast.
Of course there are times when we want to feel more alert and in those situations (for me it’s while I’m waiting for the morning Coffee to kick in) you can do the reverse. A slow deep breath in, followed by a fast exhale will get you feeling the energy in no time. Do be careful with this one though as some people can feel light headed when they do it.
So, there you have it – two quick and easy tricks to change how you feel just by breathing….
Be Safe, Be Well and Feel Great