When we are stressed, the body goes into fight or flight mode. The heart rate increases, the breathing speeds up, the digestive and immune systems stop working to devote more energy to fighting/running away. Whilst some stress is useful to enable us to get stuff done, being in a constant state of stress wreaks havoc on our mind and body, and long term, can result in serious illness.
Becoming aware of how we are breathing in any given moment, is a great way to cultivate mindfulness and calm the effects of stress before they escalate.
Pay attention to your breathing and notice the length of the inhalation and exhalation. For most of us, deep breathing consists of taking really deep breaths IN, but then little thought is given to breathing out.
When we breath out is when we are releasing and relaxing, so it is important that we try to breath out completely. Emptying your lungs each time you exhale makes more room for fresh Prana (life energy) to be taken in on the next inhalation.
Take a few moments each day to practice Equal Breath. Sit or lie comfortably, become aware of your breathing and notice the difference between the breath coming in and out. Start to regulate the breathing to make it “Equal”, i.e. if you breath in for a count of 4, breath out for a count of 4.
Practice regularly until it becomes your habitual way of breathing, and you will find yourself responding more instead of reacting. Let me know if you find this useful.
Image by Image by Shahariar Lenin from Pixabay