Mindful Relaxation Techniques
Sometimes do you just forget to breathe? Actually sometimes, I hold my breath. It is unintentional, and sometimes I actually have to remind myself to breathe. I have a feeling I am not the only one to do this. Or maybe I am. I never really asked anyone! When I get stressed or caught up in something, I actually hold my breath. Usually unaware that I am even doing so.
Other times when I am completely engrossed in a task, I actually need to pause to take a breath. When I am exercising, I also find that I hold my breath. Counterintuitive for sure! I have learned that if you count along with the instructor, it forces you to breathe. Gee whiz does that feel better! “JUST BREATHE… you are strong enough to handle your challenges, wise enough to find a solution to your problems, and capable enough to do whatever needs to be done.”
Do you want to try it? Take a deep breath with me. (PLEASE only if you know that you are medically cleared to do so) Take a long slow breath in through your nose and fill your lungs. Notice that your belly rises. Hold it for a few seconds (only if you are able!) and slowly release. Feel your body relax. Repeat a few times. This type of breathing feels cleansing and relaxing. Take a deep breath and blow all your troubles away! It genuinely feels like that sometimes.
Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and reduces stress. It also good for your respiratory system – – makes sense, it can help you get closer to reaching your lungs full capacity and it detoxifies your body. I was sold on it at more oxygen to my brain. What about you? Right now with COVID-19 running rampant we want to make sure that our lungs are at their strongest. The ability to relax your body and breathe are more important than ever. So try it with me- mindful relaxation techniques with breathing will increase your awareness and decrease stress.
A few deep breaths can actually help in so many situations. When I think of breathing, I often think of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Right now I think many of us are struggling with staying in the present. Our minds are continuously wandering looking for answers regarding what tomorrow will bring. Some days it is more difficult not to be distracted by these thoughts, but try to keep in mind that our imagination is usually much worse than reality!
“Be present — Live in the moment and just breathe.” Anytime I have practiced mindfulness or yoga the leader has always instructed the participants to notice how they are breathing. Have an awareness of their breath. It gives you something to focus on. Imagine that the air you breathe in washes peace and calm into your body. As you breathe out imagine that all of the tension and anxiety are removed. I am making sure to breathe as I write. It feels good!
Enjoy today, look forward to tomorrow, and try to remember: no matter how much we think about it or worry about it, we cannot change things that are out of our control. Let go of what you cannot control, listen to your heart, be productive, stay calm and just BREATHE…
Keep smiling and have a wonderful day!