✨ Last week I posted a Holiday Reset Menu to give some options to try to interrupt the stress cycle. One of those options was to BREATHE.
✨ Here are a few different breathing techniques that I use to interrupt the stress cycle, decrease anxiety or increase energy and vitality.
✨ I invite you to experiment with them. Try the different techniques out during different situations to see which one(s) work best for you.
✨ These breathing exercises are meant to promote well-being…calming or energizing…not more anxiety or dizziness or feelings of being unwell.
✨ Please be aware of how you are feeling during and after these techniques. If you have any negative sensations, STOP. Consult with a trained professional such as a coach, yoga teacher or physiotherapist.
RESCUE BREATHING: No, it’s not mouth-to-mouth breathing. It IS the type of breathing technique I use most often, usually when anxiety is running high and I need an interrupter quickly and inconspicuously…in the middle of a difficult conversation, out in stores while wearing a mask.
Personally, when my anxiety is running high, I don’t do well with breath holding on the exhalation…it makes me more anxious! (see explanation in breath of joy below)
BOX BREATHING: I tend to use this technique when I’m having trouble falling asleep, especially if I’ve already done a body scan to relax my body first. The box breathing helps to quiet a racing mind. And…when my body is relaxed, I am able to relax into the breath hold at the end of the exhalation phase.
BREATH OF JOY (see demo): I LOVE this breath work! Not only is it a great way to energize me at the start of my day or in the middle of my day when I hit an energy slump, it counterintuitively helps to decrease anxiety.
✨ Anyone else out there get more anxious when someone tells you to ‘calm down’ or ‘take a breath’? 🙋🏻♀️
✨ When energy is already high (even if it’s anxiety), often matching it with a breathing technique of the same intensity helps to release it.
✨ When our minds start to race and spiral with negative thoughts and fears, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in (that’s our fight, flight or freeze response). This response was programmed in to keep us safe from external threats (think bears, wolves, other predators). This response would fuel us to run to safety, or fight to protect ourselves. Fighting and fleeing helps to remove the sympathetic hormones (adrenaline) from our system to allow us to recover and calm down once we stop.
✨ When we ‘freeze’, the adrenaline continues to course through our bodies.
✨ Moving our bodies, as with the breath of joy (or a walk/dance/workout), helps to get rid of it faster.
✨ It IS possible to experience calm on the inside while things on the outside are anything but calm.
✨Do you regularly practice breathing techniques? If not, I invite you to try these. Then drop me a line to let me know how it went.
✨ In health and vitality, Anita 🧡