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  • Writer's pictureKelly Johnston

Take a breath

Updated: Jul 30, 2018

Today might be a good day to write a short post about breathing. My area is suffering a heavy blow from Hurricane Harvey and it's been a particularly stressful few days.

Did you know that when we are stressed and anxious, we tend to take shallow breaths from our chests (called chest breathing) rather than breathing deeply into our abdomens (diaphragmatic breathing)? This leads to tension in our shoulders, which leads to tension in our necks, often bringing on headache and jaw pain. It also deprives our systems of fully detoxing as we exchange C02 for oxygen. So take a moment to check yourself and your breathing. Practice inhaling to a count of four, hold for a count of seven and then slowly exhaling for eight counts.  Let your belly expand as you do it. This isn't the time to be vain and hold it in (if ever there is a time for that!)) Deep breathing calms the body and encourages moving from the "fight or flight" nervous system state to "rest and digest" mode. Our brains actually do switch gears when we do this. It is imperative for healing, for digestion, and for general well-being. So get in the habit of evaluating your breathing patterns. Teach yourself to breathe deeply and fully. The benefits are so many...especially when the storms of life (internal and external...I'm looking at YOU, Harvey) are bearing down upon us.

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