We live in such a fast paced world these days, that stress has almost become the norm. How often do you feel overworked, overwhelmed, nervous, anxious, or stressed? I’m pretty sure that just about everyone has experienced these low vibrational and energy depleting feelings at some point or another… Some of us much more than others!
And I think we’ve all heard by now how terrible stress really is on our bodies… Whether the stress is caused by a traffic jam, a deadline, bills to pay, financial woes, or any other reason, your body actually responds in the exact same way it would in a life or death type situation! So if stress is a frequent visitor in your life, your body is perpetually experiencing the ‘fight or flight’ response… And it becomes increasingly difficult to turn this off and actually relax!
It is absolutely imperative that we all take the time to de-stress and let go of all of the worries, concerns, and responsibilities that we face day after day. Without proper de-stressing and rejuvenation practices, we could seriously be putting ourselves at risk for sickness, disease, premature aging, and just an overall lack of health and well-being. There are many many ways in which you can ‘take a load off’ and de-stress… But today I’d like to share one of my favorite techniques to calm nerves, get clarity of mind, relax the body, and increase energy… And it only takes 2 minutes to do! I call it the ‘Square Deep Breathing Technique’.
Here are just a few of the instant benefits you’ll experience:
1. A clear, focused mind
2. Increased energy and vitality
3. A decrease in ‘mind chatter’
4. An increase of endorphins (The body’s natural painkiller and ‘happy’ chemical)
5. Relaxed muscles
6. Increased oxygen and blood flow and elimination of toxins
Go ahead and click play on the video below to get a demonstration of how this strategy works:
So, as I demonstrated in the video above, you want to start by testing the source of your breathing. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your diaphragm (right below the ribs) and take a deep breath. Which hand moves first? If the hand on your chest moved first, that means you are a ‘chest’ breather and your breathing is much more shallow and constricted. Shallow breathing is a byproduct of stress and can lead to a lack of oxygenated blood and even diminished mental ability. If the hand on your diaphragm moved first, you are more of a natural deep breather and you can give yourself a big pat on the back right now! The goal is to take as many deep belly breaths as possible throughout the day.
Now, here’s how the Square Deep Breathing Technique works…
Step 1: Get centered, put both feet on the floor if you’re sitting down, and you may even want to close your eyes.
Step 2: Put one hand on your diaphragm (upper belly) to make sure that’s where you’re breathing from. Inhale for 5 slow seconds, letting your breath start in the upper belly and move up towards the chest.
Step 3: Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
Step 4: Exhale slowly for 5 seconds.
Step 5: Hold your breath again for 5 seconds after all of the air has been expelled from your lungs.
Step 6: Repeat for 2 minutes.
As you can see in the video demonstration, you are creating a ‘square’ with your breath. I use this technique before any big speech or presentation and if I’m ever feeling emotional, stressed, or worried… And trust me, it works like a charm! I’d love to hear how you like to de-stress, so leave a comment down below with your favorite technique (I have to admit I’m also a big fan of bubble baths after a long stressful day)
Looking forward to hearing from you! And don’t forget to share this post if you like it by tweeting it to your Twitter followers or voting for it on Digg!