A Simple Powerful Tool to Combat Stress

breathe

Image by Melanie Weidner

When asked, “what is one thing that is challenging you and keeping you from feeling your best healthy self,” the first answer that comes to mind for most people is stress.  Figuring out what types of stress are at play can help you to find the best solution.

 Stress can mean a lot of different things for different people.  For some, it involves the day to day responsibilities, and the pressure that comes with feeling like you have to keep up with it all, everyday.  For others, it’s the weight that accompanies worry and anxiety about loved ones, or oneself, the life challenges they may be facing and the inability to help.

Stress is often the accumulation of years of worrying about finances and physical security, or feeling emotionally insecure in an unhealthy relationship or even within one’s own body.  Sometimes, stress is ALL of these things, built up so much within a person that the only place for it to go is into the cells of the body, creating chronic disease.

There is no one “cure” for stress, but luckily there are many “cures” that can help each in their own unique way, and each addressing different aspects of stress.  Many of the healing therapies work for all levels of stress accumulation, with more treatment required for chronic cases of stress to facilitate getting to the root of bigger problems.

In another post, we’ll go over some other ways that can help you on your path away from stress, towards a more peace-filled experience.

For now, we’ll discuss the number one thing you can do RIGHT NOW to help you relax, create inner space, and energize your body so it can begin to rid itself of the toxins that are contributing to your stress.

JUST BREATHE

It’s such a simple suggestion, it almost sounds silly.  However, generally speaking, we don’t breath as effectively as we should.  Our breaths tend to be shallow and rapid (stress breathing) which does not allow for maximum oxygen input.  Breathing becomes even worse during times of heightened stress.

When I am stressed out and frustrated I tend to take shallow breaths, or even hold my breath.  It is a constricting of the throat and chest which is only following suit with the constricted (stressed) body.  Holding your breath prevents air and energy to flow throughout your body, contributing to the blockages that feed stress.

More than anything, our bodies crave long, deep breaths that fill our lungs with oxygen.  The oxygen feeds our blood vessels, our muscles, our heart, our brain and our whole body with energy and nutrients that aid in proper functioning and healing.

As you sit and read this, take a few deep, conscious breaths.  Breath in slowly and notice the air entering your nose, making its way down through your throat and into your chest and lungs. Feel the fullness in your chest and be grateful of it.  As you breathe out, feel the energy of the breath radiate out into your entire body, as you expel toxins out.

Do this several times, noticing where your breath travels in your body.  You don’t have to force anything, just go a little slower and be more intentional than you normally would.  It may help to visualize the healing, energizing breath going to certain parts of your body that may need attention.  Or to mentally repeat a word like “peace” or “love” while you are breathing.  These will help you focus your breath on nurturing health and calm.

Practice this several times a day, when it comes to mind. The practice will become a habit and you will eventually be able to breathe this way naturally, and draw on this tool instinctively at times of heightened stress.

What do you think?  What helps you to remember to breathe when you are stressed?  What visualizations or mantras help you to maximize your healing breath experience?

DISCLAIMER:  All statements and suggestions are the opinions of the writer and do not replace medical advice or treatment.  All readers should consult a doctor for any medical conditions and/or before starting any suggested health regimen. By reading this website, you, the reader, take full responsibility for your own health decisions.  Do not take anything from this site and implement it without doing your own research first and/or consulting your doctor.

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