Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Exhaling the Stress Away

BY Nancy G. Janiola IN No comments

When busy moms only have few minutes to spare to de-stress, breathing techniques can work magic. A stress reliever is not just an expensive getaway or a very long holiday. While these may work, there is a more accessible and easily doable way to follow every day. Different holistic practices like Yoga and Thai Chi bank on breathing techniques. Scientific studies even prove that correct breathing can help manage stress and stress-related conditions such as chest tightness, palpitations, muscle aches and twitches, as proper breathing signals “relax” the nervous system.

Breathe correctly.
As you breathe, the diaphragm contracts and then relaxes. This then signals the rest of the body to relax. To flex the diaphragm, you should let your lower abdominal participate in the process. Take note of your abdomen and check that it gently moves in and out as you breathe. If you see the pattern and ensure that your shoulders do not move up as you breathe, you are breathing correctly. Repeat as many times as you can until abdominal breathing feels almost normal.

Breathe some more and imagine.
Deep breathing is like imagining your navel reaching your spine. This is the peak of breathing relaxation and it takes practice of regular proper breathing to achieve this. Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably in a proper posture. Imagine every tension slip away as you breathe gently through your nose. As you close your eyes to focus on your breathing, put your hand by your abdomen and feel the movement of your diaphragm. The key is to shift consciously from doing upper chest breathing to abdominal breathing. Imagine heaviness exhaled as air that makes you feel light enters your system. Say goodbye to stress in no time.

Source: Good Housekeeping Mag (March Edition)