09 Sep A simple technique that’s helped many
We want to share with you a simple technique that’s helped countless patients alleviate challenging moments in their lives.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the phrase ‘fight or flight’. It refers to the sympathetic nervous system, as opposed to the parasympathetic nervous system (which is associated with the phrase ‘rest and digest‘). You see, when one of these systems is switched on, the other switches off. In today’s world with constant stressors and stimulation, our sympathetic nervous systems are most often switched on. Simply, this means we’re almost constantly wired, on alert and in ‘survival mode’. This puts a lot of stress on the central nervous system – stimulating our adrenal glands, shortening our breath and rushing blood to the heart and limbs, which consequently shuts down our digestive system and other body systems / organs.
The sad reality is that most of us live like this day to day. We usually don’t know how to manage it and get stuck on a metaphorical fight or flight merry-go-round! However, there is something you can do to help improve the quality of your life…
Are you ready for this simple technique? Lay down and get comfortable
1. Put your focus around the base of your nostrils.
2. Bring your awareness to your natural breathing pattern for a minute.
3. Start to notice where you breathe in your body:
– In your chest
– In your belly
– Somewhere in between
4. Start to notice how you breathe in your body. Is your breath:
– Short or shallow?
– Long or deep?
– Slow or fast?
– Any combination of the above?
5. Once you’ve worked out the above, simply witness and watch. Observe how you respond and what distractions are present for you.
6. Now, start taking slightly deeper breaths, no more than a centimetre deeper than your natural breath. All you need to do is take gentle control of your breath.
7. Now, try and count to 10 breaths and see how long it is before you get distracted.
8. Use your mind to focus on your breathing and make it count each breath with you.
9. You can try to get to 10 breaths, without any distraction (this may take longer than you think) or set a timer for 2 minutes.
This can be done morning and night. There are both short and long term benefits to this exercise. In the moment, it will help to instill a sense of calm. In the longer term, it will help switch your body out of sympathetic nervous system dominance. You may notice that your muscles become less tense, that you don’t get as irritated or stressed, that you sleep better, that you find it easier to relax.
Like the rest of us at tonika health, I’m always here to help. If you’d like to know more about this technique or anything else, please get in touch or book an appointment here.