Lions, tigers and bears oh my! Our lives have become so complicated and through this complication our sympathetic nervous system is in a constant state of fight or flight. Since we are not really taking on lions, tigers and bears and our high alert lasts way longer than the perceived threat we are constantly in a less than optimal state.
Our more natural state would be in our parasympathetic nervous system. This is our calm! There are several tools to get us back to calm such as walking meditation, exercise, gratitude journaling, recognizing our good, and my favorite deep breathing. Deep breathing is easy to do and can be done anywhere. There are some immediate positive affects on your body when you breathe deeply. You oxygenate the blood, release toxins such as carbon dioxide, your cortisol level goes down and you are taken in to a state of calm. Seems to good to be true but it works and works well.
This week give deep breathing a try and witness for your self the relaxation effects.
- Breathe in through your nose, extending your belly but not raising your shoulders to the count of five
- Hold your breath for the count of two imagining it swirling around clearing all the toxins
- Exhale through your nose for the count of five imagining grayish air coming out
- Do this as many times as you can
I practice deep breathing anytime I am standing in a line, at a stoplight, am stressed, and before I go to sleep. Doing deep breathing before you go to sleep really helps calm the mind for a relaxing sleep. You can also add essential oils to your deep breathing routine for even more relaxation benefits.
A few essential oils that are relaxing are lavender, frankincense and the best is Balsam Fir. Balsam Fir has been tested on cortisol levels and has been shown to lower your cortisol. Put a drop of your chosen essential oil in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. Then cup your hands over your nose and do some deep breathing.
Get into and stay in your calm as much as you can.
Nanette Achziger is a wellbeing advocate, culinary explorer and author. Nanette is passionate about sharing how easy it is to achieve a general sense of health and wellbeing. Through tips and tools in her blog and her book, Kaizen, she shares ways to create your own self-care rituals, reduce toxic exposure, and nurture our selves through food, connection and self-love.