What does your breath have to do with stress and anxiety? Well, pretty much everything. In this video I am going to share with you one simple hack for how you can use your breath to reduce stress and anxiety.
The key is always when you're feeling stressed, slow your breath. As you slow your breath, you start to calm your nervous system. And you start to feel more relaxed and more grounded.
Oftentimes, when you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious, functions in your body start to speed up. Your breath speeds up, your heart rate speeds up, your blood pressure speeds up, your thoughts start racing, aging accelerates, etc. And you perpetuate the stress cycle.
So in order to take back control and being to calm your mind and calm your body, you slow your breath down. I'm going to show you one technique that you can incorporate immediately during your day anytime you're starting to feel stressed and overwhelmed. It's a super simple technique.
The concept is that we're going to extend our exhale compared to our inhale. When you breathe in, you activate the sympathetic nervous system, which is your fight or flight, that's your survival mode. So your inhalation activates the sympathetic nervous system.
When you exhale, when you breathe out, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is your rest, relax, restore, and digest. Oftentimes, in our stressful, busy lives, we are living from a place of fight or flight more often than we are living from a place of rest and relaxation.
By tuning into your breath, and slowing it down and extending your exhalations, you can really start to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and move into that place of feeling more relaxed, calm, centered and clear. In that state, you make better decisions, you can think clearer, you can sleep better.
So it's really really important that you have the awareness to to allow yourself to be in that state more often. And you can do that just by changing your breath a little bit.
You're going to breathe in through the nose. And then you're going to double the length of your exhalation. You can exhale either through your nose or your mouth. Just make sure you're inhaling through your nose. You can start out with a ratio of a two count on the inhale and a four count on the exhale. And really focus on using your full lung capacity using your diaphragm when you breathe.
Do that for a couple of minutes. And then you can play around with other counts. Breathe in for three out for six. Inhale for four exhale for eight and see what really supports you the best.
So that is breath hack number one. Stay tuned for other videos with additional hacks on how you can breathe less to reduce your stress. I encourage you to implement this into your practice today.
You can do it anytime, anywhere. No one's gonna know you're doing it. Do one to two minutes of this breathing technique and you'll find that you feel a whole lot calmer and more centered and more grounded.
Remember that in order to reduce your stress, all you have to do is slow your breath.