Following on from last weeks post and something very much related to controlling stress is breathing; it is also something that at least 90% of us do badly!
It is a fact that the first and the last thing we do in our lives is breath. It is the most important bodily function we have; you could go 2-3 days without water and maybe a week without food but only minutes without breathing.
At a basic level, breathing serves the purpose of delivering oxygen to our blood stream supplying every cell in our body with oxygen to allow the cells to survive and at the same time the lungs remove toxic carbon dioxide from our blood stream. Generally breathing is something we do without thinking about but unfortunately this can lead to ineffective breathing habits and not using our lungs to full capacity.
When I ask someone to take a deep breathe what I see is the breathe being taken into the shoulders and neck and this pattern creates tension in the neck and shoulders, it also means we only use the upper part of the lungs and this can create a stress response as if we have been startled.
Learning to breathe into the abdomen and using the lower part of the lungs and the diaphragm will not only engage that part of our lungs we would otherwise not be utilising but will also help to relieve stress.
This is easily done in any position including sitting, whilst reading this blog! It will do more to help relieve stress and mental well-being than any pill; spending 10 minutes a day in a quiet space just focusing on deep breathing can have so many positive benefits just like exercise - it is a no brainer!