-> There is so much going on in our world right now. We are all dealing with such uncertainty and stress. With the Covid pandemic being over a year now, we are also dealing with the fatigue of the whole situation. So many things are outside of our control. Though we’re all in the same storm, we’re not in the same boat. Each of our circumstances is different.
-> The way to get some semblance of calm into our lives is to look at the things we can control. As a Women’s Health & Wellness Coach as well as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I take the
approach of looking at the whole body, mind and spirit. One of the quickest ways to improve your health, bring some calm, and take control of something that we CAN control, is with our
breath. It is with deep abdominal breathing. Now you’ve probably heard this before, but let me explain.
-> When we take deep abdominal breaths we are engaging our parasympathetic nervous system which puts us in a state of rest, repair and digest. When we are taking short shallow breaths, we are engaging our sympathetic nervous system which puts us in a state of fight, fight or freeze. Cortisol and adrenaline are released, our blood flow moves away from our organs of digestion, detoxification, etc, and moves to our limbs so we can run or fight (as we would if being chased by an animal or if a car came out of nowhere in an intersection). Unfortunately, many of us are constantly living in this state. Living in this state of fight or flight has so many negative effects on the body. It is by taking deep breaths, that we can begin to change our state. However, it’s something that works best if it’s practiced regularly.
-> First thing in the morning and last thing at night are the best places to start. I step outside first thing (okay maybe second thing) every morning and take 3-4 deep breaths. In order to take a really deep breath, I recommend blowing all of the air out of your lungs until your abdomen is tight, before you step out the door. That way, your body will be in the best position to take that deep breath through your nose. Then just continue it for 3 or more breaths. Even if you just do it two times per day, it brings more calm into your life. However, it’s also very powerful if you use it when you are feeling heightened stress, but know that you can’t just bring it in on occasion, it’s something you’ll want to practice regularly.
-> I follow my morning deep breathing with thinking about 3 to 4 things that I’m grateful for. It’s a whole other topic but worth quickly mentioning. Gratitude, like deep breathing, is something that if practiced regularly, brings “more of” to your life. And finally, I always start my day silently with, “Good morning. I love you Karen. It’s going to be a great day.”