You had a plan. You had expectations. Now something unexpected comes up and you feel the stress come in. What can you do to bring yourself back into the present moment to assure you are ok? Your breath. I'm not going to say "Just Breathe". But I will say, take a moment and a step back. What can you do to help minimize the stress, while under stress? Access your breath.
Under stress, we begin to breathe in a shallow way or in the chest area. Our sympathetic nervous system begins to take over, raising our heart rate and causing uncomfortable physical sensations, such as shallow breathing.
I have written about this technique in the blog post, "How is your Heart?". https://www.pcsam.org/post/how-is-your-heart-1
I wanted to bring this practice back because it's such a beneficial breath practice. When we feel stress come in, this is the opportunity for us to shift ourselves and shift our breath.
Just as explained in the previous blog post, Box Breathing is a breath we can access that brings us back into a state of equilibrium or balance. The inhales and exhales are accessed evenly. Repetition of this breath is a great way to integrate these helpful breathing habits into our lives.
I invite you to come back to this breath. Take a look below to see some of its benefits.
Reduction of performance anxiety
Control of the arousal response
Increased brain elasticity, or added flexibility through enhanced blood flow and reduced mental stimulation
Enhanced learning and skill development
Increased capacity for focused attention and long-term concentration
Here is a diagram of how we can access this breath:
Breath in through your nose filling up your belly for 4 seconds
Hold for 4 seconds
Exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds
Hold for 4 seconds
Learning this breath takes practice. With consistency, we can learn to shift into this breath when stresses make an appearance.
Let's move and access our breath together tomorrow at 1pm at the PCS&M chapel.
Join me and register here:
With love and blessings,
Resident Yoga Teacher and Self Care Doula