I am getting ready to kick off a lovely three day weekend! Hopefully you have some enjoyable things planned.
I hope to just relax.
And along with relaxing – breathing!
But I mean more than just normal breathing. You may already be familiar with the connection between breathing and stress reduction. If you’re not, here’s the skinny: slow, deep breaths can help reduce stress!
That’s it! Simple! Try to fill all three compartments of your lungs – breathe into the belly region, and expand the air in the ribs, and then lift the chest with oxygen-rich air.
But I find another benefit to a few deep breaths: regaining control over food cravings.
The conflict of food can be a real source of stress and anxiety for many people – myself included. When something is presented in front of me, my mind beings to wage war – The tongue is screaming to indulge; the body is asking for healthy foods. While it’s subtle, I have noticed that I start to tense up – my mind races between motivational quips to stop me, and simultaneously dumps a whirlwind of excuses and reasonings as to why indulgence is “okay this time.” (Don’t get me wrong – occasional indulgence IS fine. I’m taking about an on-going, too-often occurrence!)
When a person is anxious, breathing naturally shallows into just the chest, along with a host of other automatic processes. But if you intervene, force yourself to calm down and breathe deeply, quiet your mind, I find you may be able to regain control and lessen the stress.
It’s not fool-proof, but it has helped me many a’time!
Hang in there, enjoy life, smile, and know you are lovely!