- Breathing, at a slow steady pace, activates the “relaxed” nervous system. The “relaxed” nervous system prompts the body to properly deliver blood to your vital organs and extremities.
- Short shallow breathing activates your “fight of flight” nervous system, which shunts blood away from your vital organs and extremities, depleting them of oxygen, while sending all the blood to your brain.
- The muscles involved in expiration, the intercostals, are stronger than the muscles involved in inspiration. By training your exhalation to extend, your inhale will naturally extend as well.
- Training your breathing patterns is an effective long term solution to improve stress, anxiety and health conditions such as high blood pressure and panic disorders.
- Breathing is the way we feed our vital organs, including our brain, with oxygen. Without enough oxygen you may experience mental sluggishness, lack of energy, negative feelings.
Why is oxygen so vital? Often times the importance of something is more clearly defined in it’s absence. Though we can do without food for weeks and possibly water for days, without adequate oxygen supply, we will die within in a few minutes.
So what is happening in our bodies daily when we are breathing quickly and shallowly? Holistic Living Online reports, “While the result is not as extreme as a heart attack or a stroke there are still a significant series of “little deaths” occurring in the body. We may experience these as feelings of mental sluggishness, lack of energy, decreased creativity and heightened states of negativity.”
Today, make it simple. If you are feeling hurried, overwhelmed, or stressed, stop, slow down, and breathe. You will gain the clarity, focus, and peace you need by simply breathing. Make your breaths even, steady, and slow.
1. Stop – Take three deep sighs. As you release your sigh make an audible “AHHHHH” sound. The conscious use of sound creation creates wellness in your body. Release anger and frustration through this simple vocalization and get the chaos out of your body.
2. Breathe – Take a deep breath. Fill your belly like a balloon when you breathe in. Exhale and deflate your belly pulling it flat against your spine. Breathe at a slow steady pace. Strengthen your exhale, making it longer than your inhale. Repeat until your breathing is steady, slow, quiet, and regular. Practice for 5 minutes.
3. Visualize – Visualize images, colors, and natural settings, which promote a sense of calm in your body. Serene lakes, turquoise seas, and rolling hillsides help to create a feeling of expansiveness and freedom. Imagine majestic oaks or picturesque mountain ranges to help you feel grounded. Picture healing colors cocooning you in light and surrounding your body. My favorite color cocoons are violet, emerald, and fuschia. Choose your own color. Your imagination is a powerful tool.
4. Listen – Listen to music that relaxes you. Metallica or Mozart, music brings you into the present moment, relieves stress, and effectively moves emotions. Choose your genre. As Martin Luther said, “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”
5. Play – A joyful cure for chaos. Pets are the perfect playmates. Run your dog, snuggle your cat, or visit a bunny at the pet store. Engage in sports, games, and recreation. Get your heart pumping and your blood moving.
6. Unplug – Get out into nature. Explore the outdoors and unplug from technology. Howl at the moon, gaze at the stars, and observe the sunset. Take a break from your email inbox, Twitter feed, and Facebook fan page.
7. Surrender – Let go of control. Allow life to flow. For a moment, forget your plans. Replace rigidity with flexibility. Anticipate things going better than you expected. Affirm your life is unfolding for the highest possible good.
Practice these seven tips on a regular basis to help you move from chaos to calm.
35 tips for starting off the new year to simplify your life and create a happier new you.
- Clean out your closets. Give away, throw away or donate any old clothes, shoes, or items that you haven’t used in the past 6 months.
- Give up caffeine. Caffeine clouds the mind and increases stress levels in the body. Make a new habit to choose caffeine free drinks and foods.
- Unplug. Information overload causes stress. Take a break from technology. Turn off your computer, cell phone, beeper etc.
- Walk in nature. Reconnect with the natural rhythms of life. Listen to the heartbeat of trees, flowers, and outdoor life.
- Say no. Learn to set boundaries that are healthy for you. Educate and empower your friends and family about your needs.
- Develop your intuition. Give up confusion, indecision and and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Practice following your inner guidance to be shown where to go, when to go, what to do and with whom to do it.
- No drive day. Give yourself a break from being behind the wheel.Walk, bicycle, carpool or take public transit.
- Listen. Stop talking. Pay attention to what other people are feeling, saying, and doing. Give your attention freely.
- Sleep. Prioritize a full night’s rest. Respect your body’s desires for rest. Go to sleep early and wake up late when as you need to. Some days you need more sleep than others,.
- Declutter your office. Throw away old papers, files and materials you no longer need.
- Realize you are enough. Your existence makes it so. You are needed, loved and cared for simply for being you.
- Let go of perfection. Who you are is imperfectly perfect. It’s by design. After all, you’re human.
- Play with pets. Connect with the unconditional love that animals offer. Learn to Love with the same abandon.
- Go with the flow. Give up resisting ance to what is. Allow mental imposing to take a backseat to the movement of life.
- Eat greens. Choose foods that help you to feel vibrant, alive and healthy.
- Gaze at stars. Remember you are just a spec in this infinite and gorgeous Universe. Put your life in perspective.
- Create art. Sketch, draw or paint your feelings. Artistic expression is a powerful tool for healing.
- Collaborate. Work as a team towards what you dream and desire. Let go of competition and invite collaboration.
- Practice gratitude. Alchemize any situation with a grateful approach.
- Go on a media diet. Be selective about the TV, news and programming you read and watch. Choose to view media sources that educate, inform and improve your quality of life.
- Be bold. Try a new sport, make a new friend, visit a new country, speak your mind, quit a job, start a company. Do what you feel called to do even if your timid self shrieks at the possibility. Go forth boldly.
- Take a relationship inventory. Let go of relationships that drain, sabotage or squelch your greatest self. Create friendships that uplift, accept and love you unconditionally.
- Channel your anger. Get to know your emotions. Choose new responses to old triggers. Don’t get mad or even. Become inventive; channel your anger into pillow fights, expressive music and yoga practice.
- Follow your heart. Let your mind take a backseat to the wisdom of your heart. Follow inspirations, feelings and callings.
- Inspire yourself. Design a life that causes you to feel more alive each day you live it.
- Discover your own path. Let go of thinking there is a right or wrong way to live your life. Live your life uniquely.
- Give a helping hand. Offer support to friends, family or strangers to receive what they in need.
- Hug. Embrace another human every day. Heart-to-heart hugs are the best.
- Laugh daily. Experience the humor of life. Belly laugh, guffaw and snort. Tell jokes, watch funny movies, read comics.
- Eat naturally. Eat fruits, vegetables and foods that grow from the earth. Eliminate processed foods and the toxins that accompany them from your diet.
- Learn to meditate. Develop the ability to focus your mind for peace, clarity and understanding.
- Take it slow. Free yourself from fast food thinking. Develop patience and respect for time.
- Run up hills. Get your heart pumping with cardiovascular exercise. Choose your sport.
- Breathe! Improve your day-to-day and long term vitality by breathing properly. Learn to breathe for stress relief.
- Embrace life’s challenges. Treasure the unknown, trust change and accept adversity. Learn how to see life’s twists and turns as a part of your healthy growth.