Did you know that the way you breathe changes when you are feeling stressed?
You may unknowingly hold your breath for a few seconds, you may start breathing more quickly or not as deeply or tense your shoulders. This can alter your oxygen/ carbon dioxide balance and, in severe cases, make you to feel light headed or anxious.
It also means you use your diaphragm (the main breathing muscle ) less and instead use your neck muscles to lift you upper ribs to breathe.
This is why so many people say ' I hold all my stress in my neck and shoulders.' The good news is, you CAN change this!! Try these simple exercises to reduce the impact stress has on your body.
The first is to use during the day, the second will wind you down and send you off to sleep...
1) If you are feeling stressed, become aware of HOW you are breathing. Then, slowly breathe out of your mouth, making your OUT breath as long as possible. (it should be at least twice as long as your IN breath), then take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Do this for 3 breaths in a row, then go back to breathing normally. Repeat every few minutes.
2) This exercise is great for helping you get to sleep. Start by making your OUT breath last 4 seconds. Do this for 6 breaths in a row. Then, extend your out breath to 6 seconds, again for 6 breaths. Next, make your out breath last 8 seconds for 6 breaths in a row. Now reverse the process, breathing out for 6 seconds 6 times, then for 4 seconds 6 times, then breathe normally. The most important part of this exercise is the OUT breath, so focus on that. If you find starting with a 4 second out breath is too difficult, start with 2 seconds, then 4, then 6, then back to 4, then back to 2. If you do this regularly, you may find you need to start at 6 or 8 seconds and extend from there.
If at any stage you feel breathless or dizzy, STOP the exercise and breath normally .
Any questions ? Call Sharon direct on 0414 529 203.
Sweet dreams !