Reducing Holiday Stress Through Breath Awareness
Holidays are often stressful as we try to do more than time allows. You can up your energy level and actually enjoy yourself more by becoming aware of the way you breathe.
When stressed, our mind is often in the future, planning this and that and contemplating how we are going to get it all done. In essence, we are living in the future rather than the now. We miss a lot of the joy of the season. This stress causes our breath pattern to become rapid and shallow, blood pressure increases and we become numb to our surroundings.
When you bring awareness to your breath, you slow it all down. You become more present, gain energy and open to a whole new world around you. You will find yourself enjoying the holidays like never before.
So when you are feeling stressed, try the following:
- Observe your breath? Is your breath short and shallow? Is it in the chest or belly? Are you breathing? We often stop breathing when we are under stress.
- Take a deep breath in and count the number of seconds it took to breathe in.
- When you exhale, breathe out twice as long as it took to inhale. If you inhaled on a count of four, slow down your exhale to a count of eight.
- Think about nothing. Focus on feeling the breath move through you.
- Repeat for three full breaths.
- Note how you feel.
You will notice everything slows down. As the mind slows down, the focus of the mind actually increases. You will be less stressed; blood vessels will dilate causing a decrease in blood pressure.
Practicing breath awareness regularly brings inner stillness, peace, feelings of open heartedness and love. Isn't that the real Spirit of the Season? Peace and Joy to you this Holiday Season. Breathe Well!