3 August 2018
With our pressured lives, we all need and want to relax. Speak to anyone you know, or just pick a random person off the street and they will all tell you the same two things. They don’t have enough time and they have too much stress. Of course, the two are related. Not having enough time to do all we need to do makes us stressed, and trying to do things when we are stressed takes more time! Those unwanted thoughts just seem to jump around our minds when we are stressed, knocking into each other like a falling row of dominoes.
Taking just five minutes each day to focus on your breathing is a fast way to relax and reduce your stress levels. Focused breathing is a way to release tension quickly and simply. The more you practice the easier it becomes. By breathing calmly and slowly, your body’s parasympathetic nervous system kicks in. The parasympathetic nervous system is your body’s rest and digest system – it slows the heart rate, conserves energy and gives your body a chance to replenish itself.
So here’s how to do it. Find a quiet spot and sit or lie so you are comfortable. Shut your eyes and take a breath in through your nose. Hold for the count of three (one elephant, two elephant, three elephant) and focus on trying to inflate you abdomen like a small balloon. Then release the breath slowly through your nose or mouth, and focus on deflating your abdomen again. Simply repeat for five minutes. Concentrate on taking the breath in through your nose, counting to three and inflating your stomach and then deflating it again and letting the breath out. Try it for a week or so and see what a difference it makes.
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