We are all born with a natural gift to reduce stress and anxiety. By learning a simple breathing exercise, we can dramatically change our physical and emotional reactions to stress.
- Sit or stand erect with a straight spine. The spinal cord is a direct extension of the brain and slouching has a negative impact on the entire nervous system.
- Inhale steadily through the nostrils allowing the abdomen to push out. The lower parts of your lungs are filling up.
- Allow the lower ribcage to expand, then the breastbone and chest. At this point, you are filling the middle part of your lungs
- Expand and lift the upper chest and the ribs. You are filling the next highest part of the lungs.
- Draw the abdomen in slightly to fill the highest part of the lungs.
- Retain the breath for several seconds. This will result in the optimal intake of oxygen.
- Exhale quite slowly, holding the chest in a firm position drawing the abdomen slightly inward and upward. When the air is completely exhaled, relax the chest and abdomen. Repeat for a series of 5 to 10 times a couple of times a day.
The benefits of engaging in this breathing exercise are plentiful. You can:
- Increased calmness
- Reduction of toxins
- Diminished physical tension
- Enhanced oxygenation of the blood
- Enter an altered state of consciousness such as meditation and self-hypnosis.
As you engage in this breathing exercise, silently say, I breathe in inner peace and blow out stress, anxiety, and frustration.