Remember to Breathe…
Notice what you’re feeling, notice your breathing when you want to stay calm. When we focus on our breathing there is no room for anything else, your mind concentrates on your breathing. If your mind wanders, concentrate on equal in/out breaths.
Breathe…Is there any simpler way to relax? Slow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate . For the fancy noses out there, try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique’s supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body (and possibly eliminating the need for a tissue). How to reduce stress: Breathe! Yes, breathing deeply, 4 – 5 times in a stressful moment, will redirect the body into the relaxation response, which helps reverse cortisol – the stress hormone. Add a few deep breaths when you feel stressed or tired. Adding daily meditation will also increase the relaxation response.
“I can’t relax. I can’t switch off. My mind is constantly racing. I can’t concentrate on anything. I can’t sleep.”
These are some of the common phrases I hear from my clients, as well as friends and family.
Thoughts going over the same things. Feeling restless. Mind chattering. Body tense and achey.
We’ve all been there. I remember when I’ve had those feelings, unable to shut up my mind, not knowing how to even start to switch it off.
I have learnt to take back control of my busy mind through contolled breathing…yoga practice and running.
Control your mind, stay calm, be able to release the thoughts and find ease?
It all starts with your breath…
When our minds go into overdrive, out of control thoughts, we lose contact with our body. The busy-ness of the mind leads to physical tension but we may have lost awareness of how our body feels because we’re so stuck in our whirling thoughts. Sound familiar?
So, get back into your body. And an easy way to do this is to focus on your breath…
Breath in, breathe out, deep and evenly.
See if you can feel the expansion of your chest and rib cage as you breathe in, and the natural contraction and fall as you breathe out.
Feel the chair beneath you, where it’s in contact with your back and/or the backs of your legs. Feel your feet on the ground. Notice the sensations of the air against your skin. Feel the cool in-breath at your nostrils and the warm out-breath.
Stretch your arms above your head. Let them drop slowly back down. Wriggle your fingers and toes.
Now you’re back in your body you can begin to reconnect your body, your breath and your mind.
Close your eyes. And let your awareness rest in your body. How does it feel? Try not to judge the sensations –let the thoughts come and go, no doubt your mind will try to judge how you feel but remember, you’re trying to get back into your body and out of your head so every time a thought comes up, take a deep inhale and invite the thought to dissolve from your mind with the exhale.
Can you feel where you’re holding tension in your body? Scan through your body. Common places are the neck, shoulders, buttocks, the hands, the jaw.
Wherever and whenever you feel tension, breathe out deeply and, with a gentle voice of loving kindness, tell yourself “I don’t need to hold onto this tension. I can let it go. I let it go.”
Place your hand over your heart and let out a long sigh. Embrace your thoughts, let them come and go. Let your sigh be an exhalation that soothes. Sigh the breath out, soften your heart. Let the tension go.
The struggle begins in the mind and soon finds its way into the body.
So, instead of struggling with your mind, notice what you notice and use your body to help your mind feel calmer.
And don’t forget to Breathe…