Feeling calm and relaxed amidst the chaos of Christmas and the holiday season may feel impossible. But here is a simple way to help it happen.
And it takes no time at all!
The last thing any of us need at this time of the year is more added to our list of things to do. So, the following practice provides a simple opportunity to add calm into your day – while you’re doing everything you need to do. In fact, it can allow you to more calmly navigate the chaos with better time efficiency – and less pressure.
It’s as Simple as Changing Your Breathing Style
Many of us do not realize that the way we breathe can actually make us feel stressed. The good thing about that is we can also change our breathing style if we know how, to make us feel calm, focused and relaxed.
Close your eyes for a minute or two, and simply observe your in-breath, noticing where it lands in your body. If you’re like the majority of us, you’re probably breathing into your chest. And if this is the case, you are unknowingly creating a stress response in your body and mind. In fact, when we breathe into our chest, we trigger our fight-flight response, and when we do this it makes it impossible for us to feel calm. Our heart races, adrenalin pumps through our body, our thoughts race and we feel jittery, edgy or panicked.
We tend to breathe this way in Western culture because we live in a society in which we are constantly bombarded with stimuli: traffic, crowds, deadlines for example.
The great news is when we know how our body and brain work together, we can literally change our physiology – instantly. And one simple way to start is by changing our breathing style.
All you need to do is allow your in-breath to drop all the way down to your tummy, completely by-passing your chest. It’s often easier when you first do this to do so with your eyes closed, and lying down. You can put one or both hands on your tummy to check that it’s going up and out as you breathe in.
Then, throughout your day, see if you can remind yourself to breathe this way – check where your in-breath is going and lower it into your tummy.
With consistent practice for just a few days, you will start automatically breathing this way.
It’s actually the natural, easy way to breath. It’s the way we were born to breathe, which is why if you notice a baby in a pram breathing, you will see their stomach rising up and out as they breathe in.
Breathing into your tummy triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, which heals and restores you, allowing you to feel so much more relaxed, calm, clear-headed and focused.
Once you retrain your body and mind to naturally breathe this way, you will begin reaping the benefits. When the pressure is on, and you feel challenged, you may find yourself going back to chest breathing. This triggers physiological stress responses and is the last thing you need when under pressure. So, don’t forget, especially when the going gets tough, to check your breathing style and adjust it.
And, if you want to enhance the whole process, you may like to practice this form of breathing as you listen to the Deep Sleep & Relaxation Hypnotherapy going to sleep at night. 20 Minutes of this deep level hypnotherapy is equivalent to 4 hours of restorative sleep (and most of us don't even get one hour of it when we sleep) - so you will wake feeling refreshed, restored, focused and energised.
Wishing you a wonderful, safe holiday season filled with love, joy and laughter!
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