We are living in times of heightened anxiety, fear, and stress. Depression and anxiety are at an all-time high with some studies stating depression rates have tripled during this time of viral fear. The holidays can magnify this emotional state for some.
When our body is operating under the “Fight or Flight” or “Run from the Tiger” response that are triggered from fear, it releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that increase our pulse and blood pressure, can speed up our breathing, dial down our digestion, create anxiety and fear, and weaken our immune system. Most of us tend to continually live in this “Fight or Flight” mode that was designed to last only minutes and not hours, weeks, or years.
Is it healthy way to live in continuous fear? The answer is an emphatic NO! In this condition we are making ourselves sick, weak, and emotionally paralyzed.
Deep breathing is a technique that can create almost immediate relief. It can help turn off that “Fight or Flight” response in our body and turn on our “Calm and Peaceful” response. This can help calm down our heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, increase oxygen in our lungs and cells, improve our immune system and activate networks of our brain related to your mood.
A great breathing technique is Heart Focused breathing. This is an extremely easy technique that can help decrease our heart rate, increase our gratitude, decrease our fear and boost our immune system.
Here are the steps for Heart Focused breathing:
Place your hands in the center of your chest over your heart area
Take 3 slow, deep breaths in through your nose, imaging that you are breathing through your heart.
Continue breathing in and out of your heart area. Feel the rise and fall of your chest
As you continue breathing, begin to imagine that you are breathing in gratitude and breathing out stress, worry, fear. Continue this for a few moments.
When you are ready, bring to mind the image of something or someone you feel gratitude for.
Move that image into the space of your heart and continue to breathing and feeling warmth in your chest.
Sit for a few moments while holding this image in your heart and breath.
When you are ready slowly come out of the heart focused breathing …but remember you can return to it at any time you might feel you need it.
Box Breathing Technique: https://brainwellnessaz.com/box-breathing-or-navy-seal-breathing-technique/
HeartMath Institute: https://youtu.be/-szBnENCdX0