Did you know that you can use your breath to boost digestion, calm the mind, and feel more relaxed? I’ll show you in this video a simple breathing technique for digestion and relaxation.
Depending on how you’re breathing, whether it’s fast or slow, deep or shallow, or through the nose or mouth will determine how you feel. Rapid shallow breathing stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the stress response.
Slow, mindful breathing and extending the length of your exhale will activate the parasympathetic nervous and calm the mind and body.
This breathing technique is perfect to do anytime during the day when you want to boost digestion and feel more relaxed. Do this before and after meals to digest your food better. Do this technique at night to fall asleep easier.
What is this method used for?
RELAXATION: Use this method whenever you are feeling anxious or stressed, or simply want a wave of good feelings wash over your mind and body.
GETTING INTO FLOW: It will also help you get more into a calm ‘flow’ state that will help you prepare for an important meeting or event where you need to be relaxed and not stressed.
DIGESTION: You can also use it to help digest your food better as it switches on your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), and switches off your sympathetic (fight or flight), so you can do this before and after eating a meal.
SLEEP: You can also use it before you want to sleep to get to sleep easier.
How to do the method:
- Sit in a comfortable place.
- Take a quick inhalation through your nose or mouth.
- Purse your lips and gently breathe the air out of your mouth very slowly as though you are breathing out through a straw. Do not tense your muscles while doing this – be as relaxed as possible.
- Imagine as the air is flowing out that a wave of relaxation is flowing down your body from top to bottom.
- Repeat the process several times for around 5 – 10 minutes a day (or 27 repetitions). The longer the duration the deeper the effect at lowering your blood pressure and heart rate.
- You can also hold your out-breath for a few seconds before repeating the next round, gradually increasing the breathold time each time you repeat for an even deeper effect
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