Life is busy. Work is busy, we are busy taking care of our kids, cooking dinner, doing laundry, etc. When is there ever time to relax? Through my personal experience, as well as working with clients, I have grasped the reality that relaxation is a learned behavior, and a practice. A lot of times when we go to sit down and relax from our stressful day, all of the things that we didn’t get done start running through our head, and then we start worrying about all of the things we have to do tomorrow as well, making our brain go in crazy circles!
What if I could give you a solution that took only 30 seconds? That solution is focusing on your breath. 10 deep inhales and 10 deep exhales. Focusing on the breath is the most simple form of relaxation. When we focus on the breath, we are becoming more aware of our body, pausing for a moment, and becoming present. It’s just you. If a thought comes up? Don’t grab it, let it go. Be with yourself for this short period of time.
How does breathing relax us? Breathing stimulates the nervous system. The inhale stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) putting tension in the body, and the exhale stimulates the parasympathetic nervous (rest and digest) allowing all the muscles to ease. And yes, your brain is a muscle.
It takes 30 seconds. Take 10 deep inhales, and 10 deep exhales. When? Before you walk into a stress-filled day at work, when you leave work, when you get home to decompress from your day, right before the kids get in the car after school, and maybe right before you go to bed. Anytime you feel stress or anxiety coming on, breathe. Ahhhh….
Megan A Czuchra