How learning to breathe can improve your day

by | Feb 3, 2021 | Emotional Health | 0 comments

It’s 3 pm at work. The end of the day is dragging on a little too long. You feel tired and have lost concentration so you grab your phone and start scrolling through your Instagram feed. 

You watch video after video about how you need to “calm down” and “take more time for yourself”. 

It seems like only a few minutes have past, but you have spent 20 minutes mindlessly scrolling and instead of feeling better about yourself you actually feel a little worse. Feelings of frustration, anxiety and sadness overwhelm you. There is a multitude of reasons why this can occur, such as negative internal narration, egoic comparison and fear. 

woman practicing conscious breathing

Things to remember:

  • Thoughts are only thoughts, they’re not real.
  • However, if you live within your thoughts for too long your brain will start to BELIEVE that it’s actually happening, which can trigger your stress response. Example – you’re thinking about getting everything sorted for the weekend party, but your brain continues to create stories that are worst-case scenarios. All of a sudden you can hear your heart beat in your head!
  • Anxiety is the story that gets created in your mind, excessively worrying about it tells your body that it’s in danger.

 

Back when we were cavemen, stress and anxiety were useful to help us take action in the face of danger, keeping us alive in our communities.  However, today that is represented by picking the kids up from school on time, or finalising that report by unrealistic deadline. These situations do not put you in any danger necessarily, but your body is still responding to these in the same way it would as if you saw a lion across the field and needed to run away.

Modern life is filled with uncertainties and stress, so it is important to have a few different techniques in your toolkit to effectively overcome the anxiety that is brought to the surface. Let’s start with an easy one: CONSCIOUS BREATHING

neon sign 'and breathe'

Conscious Breathing

Your ability to take long, deep conscious breaths tells that caveman part of your brain preparing you for danger that it’s all ok, you’re safe. You don’t have to be sitting on a yoga mat or on a beach listening to the waves for this to be effective. You can do it where you are right now. 

Focusing in on a slow elongated breath can reduce these symptoms and consequently has a cascade effect on the way your brain/body perceives your current situation allowing you to slow down, reduce nerves and panic so you can think and act clearly.

Give it a try – 

  1. Close your eyes, create awareness towards your breath (focus on it)
  2. Empty your lungs, pause, then take a 5-second breath in through your nose (don’t think about how yet, just breathe in)
  3. Pause, then slowly over 8 seconds breathe out, pause
  4. Repeat 5x
  5. Ask yourself within, how do I feel now?

Do you need more guidance? Check out our videos on different styles of conscious breathing: 

“You can’t relive a breath from the past, and cannot predict one from the future”

- Anonymous

Take a moment to consider the below statements in relation to your current health journey:

  • I need someone who will listen to me and not tell me what to do, or what I should be.
  • I want to find a style of exercise I enjoy that helps me achieve my health goals.
  • I want a health coach, not someone who makes me feel less.
  • I want someone who knows what they’re doing.
  • I want someone who helps me approach my health holistically, and not just what the scales say.
  • This is my journey, I have my own goals, I just need help with some barriers I keep coming across in training and mental wellness.

Did you answer yes to two or more of these statements? Click here to book in your initial consult today!

For further resources on meditation and anxiety, check out Headspace. 

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