We’re about half-way through summer. Kids to back to school in less than a month (Halle-freakin-lujah). It feels like the past two months have been a mad scramble. Many of the women we talk to - including ourselves - are feeling a bit pooped, and I find myself looking forward to the pleasant weather and predictable routine that is Fall.
I have realized that one of the reasons I’m feeling so stressed (other than the suffocating heat) is that I’ve been too busy juggling to breathe, or stretch, or meditate.
It’s easy to forget to think about breathing - it is something that happens automatically.
But I know better, so I begin again. The first step for me is a good mindful breathing exercise. It takes up almost no time, it’s completely free, and I find that it helps a lot with my feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
We know intuitively that deep breathing is good for us.
When someone is really angry, or when a kid falls and bonks their head, don’t we instinctively tell them to take a deep breath? All the various flavors of yoga and meditation begin with breath. Studies have shown that a good mindfulness breathing practice can have enormous benefits. It affects your respiratory, digestive, lymph, circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. Plus, it:
- Decreases stress by managing your cortisol levels
- Increases your sense of calm
- Improves sleep
- Reduces impulsivity
- Decreases the activation of pain centers in your brain
- Releases muscle tension
- Improves mindfulness (which is always a great thing)
I invite you to join me with a breathing exercise of your own. For just a few minutes, sit quietly and focus your attention on slow, deep breathing. Pay close attention to how that breath affects your body. Do you notice your face and shoulders relaxing? Can you feel the air flowing from your nose to your lungs and back? Each time your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. I prefer to do this for 3 or 4 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day, and then end with a quick stretch and thoughts of gratitude. I find that even when I don’t make time for true meditation, this bit of breathing helps me a lot to feel more peaceful and productive.
Give it a shot and let me know how it goes! Happy breathing -
If you’re feeling stressed out, worn out, or pissed off, we want to help. We’re happy to offer a free breakthrough session to see if personal coaching is a good fit for you.