Health

1 Min Stress Buster: Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic Breathing

This 1 minute could save your Thanksgiving

You rolled your tired, cozy warm body out of bed at 6 am to prep the turkey. You’ve been in the kitchen all day. You’ve made 32 different side dishes because you HAVE to have smashed yams, mashed potatoes, pureed turnip, and candied yams…you just can’t NOT!

The kitchen looks like a culinary war zone.

Finally, it’s time to eat. All the time, energy, sweat and love that went into the meal is going to be all worth it as you and your family sit around a table to share in this holiday together.

You pridefully carry the holiday bird to the table and serve it up. Everyone is happy.

Then you hear it…

“Can someone pass me the gravy? The turkey is so dry.”

Before you let {insert critical/hurtful/annoying comment here} send you over the embankment into crazy town, we have a 1 minute (or less even!) exercise that can save you!

Breathe.

It can be as simple as that…BUT…not all breathing is created equal. I want to talk to you about diaphragmatic breathing. This is a completely different way to get oxygen to your cells from a physiological standpoint.  This breathing is slow and deep, and it causes your belly to push out, rather than your chest to rise up. It is done by a muscular umbrella at the bottom of your ribcage that pulls air in and gently massages your internal organs in a rhythmic way.

This is the way children breathe!  This is the way you are supposed to breathe most of the time.  This triggers the parasympathetic nervous system for rest and repair.

Plus, it could save the holiday!

Also Read: Discover the Benefits of Good Breathing

How to breathe diaphragmatically:

1.  Stand (or sit up) straight and lift your shoulders up, back and down (lift your heart to 45 degrees).

2.  Inhale slowly through your nose, while trying to get the air down as far as possible into your belly (your belly will push out – that is normal). If it helps, put your hand on your belly and feel it moving in and out while you breathe.

3.  Pause for a second.

4.  Exhale slowly through your nose (2 x longer than inhalation).

5.  Repeat 5-10 times.

6.  Do this every hour or before or if you feel overwhelmed and feel the stress fall away.

Always do this before you lie down to sleep and before you eat. These activities require a predominantly parasympathetic (rest/repair) nervous system activity.

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