Did you know that you can support the autonomic functions of your nervous system by voluntarily working with your breath?
We are able to impact the fight or flight response by taking deeper, slower and longer breaths. The breath will then indicate to the nervous system that it is safe and ok to come back to rest and digest.
A good portion of us have adopted reverse breathing pattern. In short, this means - breathing into the rib cage or upper lung instead of belly and on the exhale the belly lifts or stays neutral. Use the below method of breathing to come back into an optimal, full and balanced breath
Here is a simple breathing technique you can use throughout the day:
1) Breathe in through your nose all the way down into your belly. Focus on the lifting sensation of the navel. Think - Buddha belly.
Try relaxing your breath. Make more space in the belly and let the diaphragm do the work. If full breaths are challenging to start, deepen into a range where you can remain relaxed.
2) See if you can manage breathing in slow and controlled for 3-5 seconds. Then, lengthen the exhale, breathing out through the nose, for 4-6 seconds. This causes the body to slow and recalibrate into rest.
3) Honor the subtle pauses at the top and bottom of the breath cycle by gently holding the breath for a second or two. Just like the seasons, we have transition in breath.
If it is a struggle to remember to breathe into your belly, place one hand over your navel and one hand on your heart. Focus on lifting your navel first.
Spend a few minutes each day with direct focus on your breath.
Becoming conscious of our patterned breathing can help awaken the amount of time we spend in rest and digest and limit the amount of stress your physical and mental body is under.