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Manage Stress With Belly Breathing and Visualization Right Now!

July 17th, 2017 by Audrey Weidman

Manage Stress With Belly Breathing and Visualization

It is in YOUR POWER to manage your stress.

The National Institutes of Health has identified stress as the #1 health concern in the world.  When your body experiences stress, your immune system becomes compromised leading to cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and any number of other health conditions.

So what can you do about it?

An easy way to for you to implement right after you finish reading this, is to manage stress with belly breathing and visualization.  In our Western society we tend to be shallow breathers.  We “forgot” how to belly breathe.  When we were babies and young children that is how we breathed naturally.  If you look at your pets – they belly breathe too.

What happened?

Over time we are told to “suck it in” and stand up straight.  These postures lend themselves to shallow breathing.  We aren’t using our lungs to full capacity.  We aren’t oxygenating well or cleansing our bodies from CO2.  So, how do you remember to belly breathe?

I’d recommend using a mindfulness timer – either on your mobile phone (I use Insight Timer) or on your computer (check out http://awakeningbell.org/bell/).  I use them both – though not at the same time :-).

Once an hour, take a one minute break and belly breathe.  Put your hands on your abdomen to make sure you’re doing it correctly and do deep slow breathing.  Close your eyes and really feel your lungs expand and contract.

Here is the little extra that will help you even more.  Think of a quality that would help you overcome an issue that you are dealing with right now.  Maybe it is focus, patience, integrity, peace, confidence, success, power, knowledge, patience, integrity, etc.    When you silently repeat repeat one of these “power” words, your brain will pull up past memories associated with that quality.

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As you breathe in, think of that quality you would benefit from right now.  “I breathe in _________”.  As you exhale you can use another positive quality or a quality you want to eliminate.  So for example, “I breathe in focus, I exhale patience”.  Or “I breathe in confidence, I exhale stress”.   Repeat these statements for one minute timed with long, slow breaths anywhere from 6 – 10 breaths per minute.  The slower the better.

See this video and I will demonstrate.

At the end of a minute you will feel more capable of achieving a goal you desire.  Why does this work?  Our emotional brain responds to thoughts that we have – real, imaginary, positive or negative – as though it is real.

So EMPOWER yourself.  Manage stress with belly breathing and visualization and your will support your physical body as well as your mind.

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