Guest Post By Elyse Falzone
Did you know that by consciously taking a deep breath, you can alleviate stress? I have to tell you that I am not one for taking breaks in my day or remembering to take time for myself. However, when I started placing more importance on taking a moment to breathe or getting some fresh air, my productivity levels went through the roof and I felt more energized and alive!
WebMD (article) states that “Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.”
I challenge you to think about taking a deep breath EVERY time you open a door. A car door, your house door, your office door, etc. If you took a deep breath each time you opened a door, I bet you’d be surprised at what you’ll notice.
For simple relaxation, you can breathe in your nose and out your nose. Sometimes that just won’t cut it! When you are experiencing more stress or you are wanting more of a release… you can breathe in your nose and out your mouth. You can even make a sigh or even bigger sound when your let the breath out of your mouth. Take a minute to try both.
Other quick ways to take a deep breath and to take a moment for you each and every day:
Take a walk during your lunch break
Take a yoga class
Write in your journal
Take a bubble bath with soothing music and maybe even candles
Laugh out loud for no reason (one of my favorites!)
Wrap your arms around yourself to give YOU a big hug
Meditate or pray- even if it’s just 3-5 minutes
I know what you’re thinking… how will I remember to take time BREATHE? There are many ways to go about this. I have set alarms on my phone so when they pop up they read something like this, “Present Moment- remember to breathe.” Or maybe something like this, “Have you taken a moment for you today yet?” You can also post sticky notes on all of your doors if you take on BREATHING every time you open a door. You can carry something in your purse, pocket or place something in your home or office that reminds you. You can lay a journal on your bed every day so each time you go to sleep you see it and write in it before snuggling into your covers.