Stress can wreak havoc on you in many ways. You have a natural ability to de-stress simply by using your breath. You can activate your body’s own natural Relaxation Response when anxiety
arises simply by breathing differently during times of stress. I define anxiety as a limiting state of being. Anxiety limits your ability to be fully resourceful in taking action or being proactive and lends one to a state of re-action … or being limited of inner resourcefulness and reactive to events that trigger you.
Stress creates stress hormones that greatly contributes to ongoing chronic problems you may be currently experiencing. Ongoing stress hormones can contribute to making the body “acidic” which is linked to chronic health conditions. Check out this chart to see if you have any of these symptoms due to stress:
There are many ways you can reduce stress by including, but not limited to, these experiences:
- Exercise/Body Movement, walking, massage
- Being in Nature
- Listening to soothing music/sounds
- Reading something that uplifts you
- Watching something that makes you laugh
- Being around positive company and atmospheres/environments
- Seeking an Alternative Healer, Life Coach (Capri Diana), Spiritual Counselor or Professional Counseling
- Spending conscious alone time with your self with the intention to ground & recharge your energy.
Your breathing patterns can contribute to your experience of anxiety. You may want to know how those patterns are formed.
The breath is actually linked to our natural instinct of survival. Initially when something we perceive as traumatic occurs, we go into fight flight or freeze mode… Our breathing immediately becomes shallow.. we breathe through the chest area (not the diaphragm/abdomen) shallowly; …which also shuts us down emotionally… as well as places our body in survival mode.
Over time, our breathing patterns can become “holding patterns”. As we are triggered by unresolved past events, or unpleasant experiences, and then we immediately, without even being conscious of it… go right back to that shallow chest breathing… which brings the body right back into the survival mode it once experienced even if there’s no reason to be in survival mode. the bones, cells, all parts of you remember and revisit that unpleasant moment going right back to that state … .even though you are not fully conscious of it.
Using your own breath you can actually shift out of that holding pattern by catching yourself in that survival mode (shallow chest breathing) and then begin to breathe deeply in-through your diaphragm and exhale completely contracting the abdomen. You can practice this by placing your hand on your belly and breathe into your belly… your belly should rise.. holding that breathe to the count of three and then s l o w l y release the breath to full contraction. Breathing this way massages the organs and fully activates your own body’s relaxation response. When you breath in this way you are bringing yourself to the present moment, which shifts your consciousness within your whole self… body and all… into the present moment.. which interrupts that old holding pattern until it is gone.
For example: You are at work and someone you dis-like approaches you, you begin to breathe shallowly from your chest, you experience some level of anxiety which creates stress hormones that move throughout your whole being affecting everything. Given that same situation you are approached by the person you dis-like, then become aware of your shallow chest breathing and INSTEAD begin to belly breathe (either in their presence or after they or your leave) and keep that up for up to 10 breaths or 2 minutes.. you will have shifted that holding pattern, feeling more in control, and create positive peace hormones in your body…. relaxation will overcome you and benefit your whole self. Try it and see for yourself!
- Reduce the symptoms contained within the chart above
- Oxygenate the blood, brain, and the body
- Is connected to the breathe of Life, breathing in, affirms taking in life (so breathe deeply)
- Alkalizes the body (strengthens immune system)
- Grows that spark of Light within
How to use the expanding and contracting gif image above for Diaphragmatic Breathing:
- Breathe in deeply in-through your abdomen as the image opens and expands.
- Exhale to full contraction of the abdomen as the image collapses
- Do this for at least 2 min. a few times daily for those who want to reduce the effects of stress
*If you would like to learn more about how you can improve your breathing patterns for your highest overall health benefits and live on Long Island, I would suggest making an appointment with Charyl Ozkaya who is the founder of the Breathing Connection and has been helping people to breathe their way to a healthier way of life for many years now.