Remember. To. Breathe.
Remember to breathe.
Sounds so simple right? But under stress, we often forget to breathe.
It’s an especially important message this week, but I’ve spoken to a massive amount of my clients over the last little while about breathwork.
Breathing wrong (yep we can do it wrong), compresses on your nerves and can be a cause of RSI. Shallow breathing in the chest causes you to use the muscles in your neck so it can cause neck and rib issues. Pins and needles. Numbness. Suppression of the immune system. And it can set us up for fight or flight – the better-known term for the stress response in our body that helps get us through challenging situations.
When that stress response starts to occur for our regular day to day activities and situations, there can be a ton of health problems that comes with it.
Who would have thought, right. So where do we start?
Small, easy adjustments
Its just a matter of retraining your breathing.
If you’re breathing incorrectly, it’s usually because you’re breathing from the chest. You’ll sigh. Breathe faster. And shallower.
When you breathe deeply, the air coming in through your nose fills your lungs, and the lower belly rises. It can feel unnatural at first, but here are some easy steps for retraining our breathing.
Get comfortable. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
Your old normal. First, take a normal breath.
Try a deep breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose, letting your chest and lower belly rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully.
Breathe out slowly. Now breathe out slowly through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural).
When we remember to breathe.
The key to bringing on the body’s relaxation response lies in deeper, calmer breathing rhythms.
Try to practice a couple of times a day for around 5-10 minutes a day. You could fit that in before you even get out of bed for the day. And then again before you drift off to sleep at night.
And like any habit or ritual we’re trying to establish, doing it at the same time of day in the same order will help.
Anj Young is the Owner & Principal Osteopath of Top Notch Bodyworks. Anj has a Bachelor in Health Science and Masters of Osteopathy. And leads a team of 14 therapists in their goal of maximising quality of life through evidence-based massage, osteopathy and holistic customer-centric connections.
Anj was involved with a multitude of sports and recreation events before training as a Physical Training Instructor in 2007. She completed an Assistant Physical Training Instructors, Primary Training Instructors course (Group Fitness Instructor Level 3) and an Advanced Fitness Instructors Course (Fitness Exercise Consultant Level 3 and Community Recreation Level 3) during a 13-year tenure with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).
Her passion lies in exploring the complexity of psychology and pain management as a qualified Osteopathy practitioner.