How to relieve stress

Your body has a built in stress reliever and you do it all the time, usually without even thinking about it. You’re doing it right now. It’s called breathing.

Breathing happens naturally without any thought on our part. Though I’ve noticed when I’m at the doctor’s office every time he says to breathe normally, right before he checks my heart, I start breathing weird. I wasn’t even aware of my breathing before, but once he mentions it I start to breathe differently because I’m thinking about it. Suddenly I'm having to try to breathe normally.

When we find ourselves in a stressful state or situation our breathing usually becomes shallow and rapid. This sends a message to our adrenal glands that we’re in fight or flight mode, and they begin pumping out stress hormones like cortisol. In Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book, Mind over medicine: Scientific proof you can heal yourself, she talks about the effects of stress and how it can deplete your adrenals and affect your health.

If you notice yourself starting to feel stressed, upset, or anxious, take a moment and focus on your breath. Are you breathing fast and shallow? Take a long deep breath in through your nose, then slowly exhale.  Do this until you feel your body starting to relax.

Focusing on your breathe is an incredible way to reconnect to the moment.  I use this whenever I notice I’m feeling stressed or anxious. If I’m rushing around trying to get stuff done and starting to feel anxious, I will stop and take a few deep breathes to bring myself back to the present moment.

This not only helps to relieve stress but also can support you in communicating more effectively. When we get upset at someone or something we tend to react from the flight or fight space.  When you take a moment to focus on your breath and calm yourself, you will respond from a clear space rather than reacting out of anger.

Take Action Challenge

If you notice yourself feeling anxious or stressed, stop and focus on your breathe.  Take a few long, deep breaths and reconnect to your body. Notice how you feel afterwards.

What do you do to calm yourself when you're feeling anxious or stressed? Please share your comments below.  I look forward to reading them.

Next week I’m going to share a breathing exercise with you that can help restore imbalances in your brain, improve sleep, calm your emotional state, boost your thinking and calm your nervous system.

Love and Happiness,