Anxiety - Some believe it's excitement without enough breath. Many Psychotherapists believe it's the suppression of anger. Either way, it's the worst feeling and I think that we can all agree that we want the fastest way out of feeling it.
Luckily, we can reduce this discomfort quickly by something very simple. Deep breathing or you may have heard in a yoga or meditation class - Pranayama or Diaphragmatic Breathing.
"For millennia, yogis and sages from Eastern cultures have understood the importance of diaphragmatic breathing. Since the 1970s, the trailblazing efforts of mind-body thought leaders such as Herbert Benson and Jon Kabat-Zinn have popularized the paramount importance of deep breathing as a central component of maintaining a healthy physiological balance (homeostasis) within your autonomic nervous system, which is widely accepted by "Western medicine" practitioners today. " Learn more here
I've been fortunate to not only study Dr. Herbert Benson's work but also facilitate his annual MindBody Medicine clinical trainings at Harvard Medical. This particular training teaches physicians from all over the world how to teach this practice, as well as other mind/body practices, to patients instead of using prescription medication as a first response.
To keep it simple, imagine an empty glass. Then slowly pour water into the glass, watching it fill the bottom of the glass and slowly rising to the top. This is the same way you can breath into your belly and lungs. Slowly & gently fill yourself with breath from the bottom up.
Simple + Easy + Effective = Relaxation Response
Here are a few ways you can play with this breath:
• Place your hands on your lower belly and feel the rise + fall of your breath.
• You can commit to a number of times to focus on this breath. Maybe 10 full breaths
( Personally, I find that 21 breaths works best for me)
• You can play with a breathing exercise that the Navy Seals practice to stay calm. Inhale in for 4 seconds + Exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat until you feel better or commit to a # of times.
• If you're mind is super busy it may be helpful to add an affirmation, mantra, phrase or prayer to repeat while breathing.
(You can play with our monthly affirmation for June " I choose to love myself more" You can click here to check it out)
Conscious breathing is definitely a practice and we can all benefit from lots of reminders. Receive support by taking a yoga or meditation class.
You can also check out our schedule here at Ahhh Sweet Balance Yoga Studio, located in Wakefield MA.