THE specific BLOG
THE specific BLOG
The Benefits of Breathing: Your Essential Guide to Relaxation
It’s been a long day.
You finally make it home, and it’s time to relax!
You kick off your shoes, change into some comfy clothes, and sit down on the couch.
The only thing is that all you can really think about are the other things that have to still get finished.
Suddenly instead of feeling relaxed you feel that slight twinge of stress and anxiety creep into your system.
So now what?!
Do you try and go back to work on those things that are causing you this feeling or actually take time to yourself?
There’s a lot of things that you’re able to do when you feel this way. You can binge eat, watch TV all night, read a book…which are all fine but in the end you need to try and take your health and how you’re feeling into your own hands.
If there was one thing I could recommend for someone who is feeling anxious it would be to learn some kind of mindfulness technique where they are focusing on their breath and controlling the length in which they exhale – giving themselves time with nothing but thoughts. Learning breathing techniques seems like something everyone should know about but they don’t! Not only does it help people manage stress levels better but also helps decrease anxiety!
In order to best help yourself figure out what works for you personally remember that we all have certain moments where we are feeling anxious and super stressed out.
These are the moments where we need to take a step back and figure out what is going on. Is it something in your environment, or maybe you’re just feeling overworked?
Now I can’t stress this enough…don’t forget about yourself! We all have to be able to care for ourselves before caring for others. And one of the best ways to do that is by taking time each day (or at least once a week) for ourselves- whether it’s reading, writing, doing yoga – whatever makes you feel good. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for 20 minutes but these small breaks will help make sure that you’re not completely drained when life starts piling up again.
Let’s get down to the specifics of breathing.
It’s a pretty basic thing that we all take for granted in my mind. But there are certain ways to incorporate breathing into our lives that can have a great deal on feeling anxious. As mentioned before, focusing on the inhale and exhale is vital. I like to tell people to practice a rhythmic 4 count breathing pattern.
What this means is breath in through your nose for a count of 4 seconds, hold that breath in for 4 seconds, exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds, and hold that exhale for 4 seconds.
Now a lot of people breath wrong when they do this at first. The key to getting a deep breath is being able to see your belly move outward. Oftentimes we’ll feel like taking a deep breath will cause our shoulders to move upward where in actuality we want our belly to move outwards so we’re filling the lungs as much as we can!
That feeling of excess stress and anxiety is one that is all too familiar in our society. So how can this process of breathing actually help? Have you ever had an adrenaline rush?
Does your breathing slow down or speed up during that moment?
It speeds up!
This is because the sympathetic nervous system is in overload and is causing this to happen so you can react as quickly as possible to whatever stimulus you may be experiencing. This is called the fight or flight, or survival state.
When we are doing these breathing exercises mentioned above what we’re doing is slowing down your breathing. What this does is help stimulate the parasympathetic or resting and digesting part of the nervous system. Essentially the opposite of an adrenaline rush.
This will help you be able to slow everything down and really start to process everything that’s going on around you.
This will help you be able to slow everything down and really start to process everything that’s going on around you. It suddenly helps you start focusing on what needs to be done, or better yet, what can wait until tomorrow. This will not only help you mentally and emotionally, but also physically. Stress and anxiety play a huge impact on our physical health so I believe that if we can do something to actively keep them under control we will be a lot healthier overall!
If you find yourself stuck in this fight or flight mode and nothing seems to help, then for sure give these breathing steps a shot! At The Specific Chiropractic Centers we work directly with the nervous system and help balance everything out, so if you’re still always feeling on edge even after practicing breathing give us a call, we can see if we can help you out!
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