Just Stop Yourself and Breathe
Have you ever had someone tell you to just breathe ? Usually this happens when one is stressed out or when you have been pushing yourself in exercise class. These words will also be said when a crisis happens and you feel that you are in a tailspin. When the world is going one hundred miles per hour and you want to go twenty-five. A good friend will tell you to just stop yourself and breathe. Count your breaths and slow yourself down. Your pace is way too fast and you just need to slow yourself down and breathe.
I have heard these and similar words given to me as well as told others the very same. I do not remember when I had first heard the words to slow down and just breathe but they have always seemed wise words to follow and made sense in stressful situations.
Focusing on breathing keeps you mindful of your body and can immediately calm you down. You start to breathe normally and stop holding your breath. This helps to break the stress cycle and helps you to relax.
This sort of slow breathing can help you feel more present in the here and now as opposed to worrying about the past or future. It can help you relax and feel calm and has been shown to have medical benefits. It can lower blood pressure, slow heart rate and help with falling asleep.
You can practice this by getting into a comfortable position by either sitting or lying down. Focus on your breath. Breathe in as you inhale draw and your breath all the way down into your abdomen allowing it to expand. Then allow it to fill up your lungs. As you exhale, let your breath out so you can hear your breath escape through your mouth. It may be helpful to develop your own rhythm by counting to seven on the inhale- hold for 3- exhale for the count of 7- hold for 3 and then start the cycle again. Whatever works to keep you breathing in a regular pattern for say 10 minutes or five to start.
Try this in the morning before the day’s to do list invades your mind and see how much clearer things may seem.
Let me know how this works for you.
What have you discovered in counting your breaths for a week?
Sharon McLaughlin MD FACS
We all need time to relax. Thanks for sharing your information.
Me too! 🙂
I’ve always hated intentional breathing, in through the nose, out through the mouth. I may have that backwards! But…reminding ourselves to breath, not the shallow stressed type of breaths, is so very helpful.
Thank you for the reminder!
Controlled breathing is so beneficial. I practice it often.