Phew! What a day. Sometimes the long hours at work, the traffic jams, the parking tickets and everything else can hit you all at once. We’ve all been there, stuck in the middle of a chaotic situation, with our blood pressure rising and our patience dropping. Everyone knows that stress is harmful, not only to ourselves, but also to the harmony of those around us. Stress causes our bodies to release cortisol, a hormone that has been linked to heart problems, weight gain, and even damage to the hippocampus (the memory center of the brain).
Have no fear! We are amazing creatures and have the power to overcome any situation, including the most stressful ones! One of the most effective ways to regain your balance and center yourself is through breath control. Monks, yogis, and martial artists have used breath control to harness their powers in times of practice and meditation, as well as times of survival and combat. Breath control has very real effects on our physiology, and also in our brain chemistry, allowing us to quickly adapt to our circumstances in a productive way. Here is an easy exercise called the 4 – 7 – 8 breath, demonstrated to me by Dr. Andrew Weil.
- Sit or stand comfortably in a quiet place
- Touch your tounge to the back of your top row of teeth (maintain this for the entire exercise)
- Exhale out all your breath as though you were blowing out birthday candles
- Close your eyes
- Breath in through your nose for 4 seconds
- Hold it for 7 seconds
- Exhale (as in step 3) for 8 seconds
- Repeat 4 of these sequences twice a day (never exceed 4 breaths or sets of these per day)
- Open your eyes
Will you reach nirvana after one session, no, but you will begin to feel better and the best part is that the effects are cumulative. Do this exercise everyday and you will be amazed at the results! Give a try and let me know what you think, I have tons of great ways to help you overcome stress and get healthy, set up a free Health History session today to see how we can reach your goals!
– John Garda
John Garda is a Holistic Health Coach working out of NY and Miami. He has been able to help his clients overcome their challenges, and now has a practice that focuses on helping busy individuals lower their stress, lose weight, achieve wellness, and love who they see in the mirror.
Visit John’s website at http://www.ironmountainwellness.com