Welcome to day three of your 7 Day De-Stress Course.
Today I’m sharing with you the #1 stress-inducing mistake that most of us are making – and what you can do about it.
Here’s a link to listen to the third part of your audio course.
To listen online, click the ‘play’ button. Depending on your internet speed, it may take a few moments to load – please be patient!
To listen on your computer or MP3 player, hover over the link and choose ‘save as’ to download the audio.
[audio:https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/destress-audio-course/part-three.mp3]Part Three Audio MP3
When you have had a chance to experiment with the breathing meditation technique on today’s audio, how about popping by the special discussion area in the Soul-Sized Living forum, to share how you got on – and get answers to any questions you may have?
Have You Forgotten How To Breathe?
And just in case you’d like a positive affirmation for this stage of the audio course, how about:
I breathe in; I breathe out. Everything else is optional.
Have you forgotten how to breathe?
How have you been getting on so far with techniques one and two Have your shoulder shrugs been helping? Did writing down the answers to those three questions last time make a difference for you?
Today I am going to be talking about breathing. And, before we start, I would like you to take a moment to notice where in your body you’re breathing right now.
I know that sounds like a strange question: “Where are you breathing?” But, for most of us, it’s somewhere near the upper chest or the throat area.
I would like you to place your hand over your diaphragm – that is the bit of your belly above your belly button – and notice whether or not it moves when you’re breathing for the next few moments.
Most of us have forgotten how to breathe. When you watch a baby breathe, it naturally breathes from the tummy area. That’s the way our body is designed to breathe: the diaphragm as it moves down, the rib cage expands opening up the lungs, filling them with air, filling them with oxygen; and then as you breathe out the diaphragm moves up compressing everything, naturally expelling the air. It should be a pretty much effortless process.
But when we get stressed, the breathing moves up to the chest area. We end up using the intercostal chest muscles to breathe, instead of the diaphragm. And if we’re really stressed our breathing moves up to the shoulders and even the throat. The problem with this is that we’re not getting enough oxygen into the body, which causes physiological stress.
The mind and body are linked, so if the body the stressed, then the mind starts thinking stressful thoughts, stressful hormones go round, we feel stressed, we experience stressful emotions and the cycle continues.
You can put a “pause” in this by changing how you’re breathing.
As usual do this within your comfortable limits. If you’ve got breathing issues or severe asthma you might want to talk to your medical professional first. If you can’t do the breathing, visualise it, imagine it. It will have a similar effect.
- Putting your hands on your abdomen, over your diaphragm, just above the belly button area – as you breathe in you should notice your hands lifting as your chest expands.
- As you breathe out they return moving slightly towards your spine.
To de-stress, all you need to do is breathe slowly and deeply.
Allow your chest to expand as you breathe in. It’s not the time to be thinking about flat tummies here, it’s okfor your stomach to move and allow it to gently contract, to sink as you breathe out.
If you can do it through your nose as you breathe in then you can breathe out with a lovely sighing sound which helps relieve stress too.
How about trying it now?
Can you feel the difference that makes to your body, to your mind, to the speed of your thoughts? Can you feel how your stress levels are melting away? And all you did was take three breaths, isn’t that amazing.
So I hope you really enjoy playing with this technique and I will be back next time with another de-stress quick fix.