In my clinic work, I see many clients with stress and anxiety. There are many reasons for stress and of course many physical and emotional presentations of stress and/or anxiety. One thing that I have noticed (and this is not new information to any of us) that often my clients DO NOT breathe.
Our lives are busy and hectic and we all know that we need to maintain both our physical and emotional health. There are lots of self help books and therapies available to all of us – but often it can be the simple things that can have a major impact. Hydration and breathing are absolutely key to maintaining a healthy stress level and balance in the nervous system.
This is not a new concept, breathing is important in all of the ancient therapies that I am aware of. There is also a lot of current medical research in modern science that shows that the simple act of breathing has a major impact on your physiology, mental and emotional wellbeing. Mladen Golubic, a physician in the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine says that with breathing “You can influence asthma; you can influence chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; you can influence heart failure,”.
Harvard researcher Herbert Benson has even indicated that breathing can change the expression of genes.
If you are in a stressed state it can be difficult and feels nearly impossible to control and relax your breathing. There are lots of breathing techniques available for you to look at online, but for me the easiest way is to keep it simple.
Gaining control over your breathing involves both slowing your rate of breathing and changing your breathing style. Use a calming technique by following these steps and you’ll be on your way to developing a better breathing habit.
Get started with this simple breathing technique
(partially taken from ‘Centre for Clinical Interventions’ in WA)
Ensure that you are sitting on a comfortable chair or laying on a bed. Place your hands just below your bellybutton
2 Take a breath.
Take a breath in for 4 seconds (through the nose if possible). Imagine breathing down to your toes and feel your tummy rising below your hands
3 Hold the breath
Hold the breath for 2 seconds
4 Release the breath
Release the breath taking 6 seconds (through the nose if possible), then pause slightly before breathing in again.
Practise, practise, practise!
If you are struggling, you may need some support initially or at times of greater stress. We can help you by supporting your nervous system while you practise your breathing resulting in a much calmer and balanced you. We’re passionate about helping people become their best self, and understanding themselves to achieve true health and happiness..