“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” ~Sanskrit proverb
One of the biggest surprises clients get is how actively slowing down their breathing can calm them down. Consciously taking a slow, long, and deep belly breath does wonders for actively calming and quietening the mind.
When we feel stressed or anxious, it can feel like we are short of breath or shallow breathing from the chest and not the lower lungs. This is the body preparing for fight or flight, an in-built and ancient stress response system in the body. This can happen from the busyness of life on a normal day when you’re trying to get the kids to school on time and get yourself to work. When we’re rushing daily from pillar to post, the body doesn’t understand the it’s not a life-threatening situation and responds the same way it would in a dangerous situation.
With deep breathing, we counteract the stress response with the relaxation response.
By engaging the abdominal muscles and diaphragm through deep breathing instead of the muscles in the upper chest and neck, the body starts relaxing. This is turn helps the mind to become calm and focused.
To calm your mind, simply close your eyes and spend a minute actively breathing into your belly, slow, long and deep. Simply notice the difference it makes.
Published in the Connaught Telegraph Newspaper on 22 Nov 2016