Happy Monday Guys! Ready for your weekly dose of motivation? This post is dedicated to learning how to relax and the benefits of deep breathing.
The world we live in is fast paced. We are always on the go, sometimes doing ten million things at once. If you are like me you take on lots of different responsibilities, and don’t want to let yourself or others down. So you spread yourself paper thin. You still work out like you know you should, cook those healthy dinners to nourish your body, and catch up on all your work and extra activities. Not finishing is not an option in your mind because it might just show that you are, heaven forbid, human.
But being ‘human’ is much better than trying to prove that you are a superwoman (or man) who can do it all. Superpeople who don’t know how to pace themselves can end up exhausted, anxious, and stressed out. You know why I know that? Well these past few weeks I’ve tried to be Super Sarah.
Super Sarah is really good at multitasking, planning out her time, and getting things done.
Seems perfect right?
Super Sarah has one fatal flaw: she doesn’t know how to slow down and chill out. And this became crystal clear on my first meeting with the hypnotherapist. During our session as she was trying to bring me ‘under’, I found myself becoming very frustrated. I couldn’t relax! This time was supposed to be just for me, for healing my body, and my gut, refocusing my energy and recentering my mind. Yet I felt guilty and that I had to justify the time.
I left the therapy session with a recording to listen to once per day. The next day as I was trying to zen out, the same frustrations flared up. All I could think of was ‘When will this be over so I can do xyz?!?!’
And then it hit me. I had become the master of multi-tasking, but was failing at performing the fundamentals of life. Fundamentals like breathing, and relaxation. I no longer knew how to just ‘chill out’. My days were all ‘go, go, go’ and now I was telling my body ‘Stop! Slow, slow, slow!!!’. I was expecting my mind to just magically, instantly calm itself down and got upset that it didn’t. Kind of like telling a formula one car to go from full throttle to reverse; it just doesn’t happen in an instant.
I changed my tactics. Maybe I was expecting too much from myself too soon. So I decided to focus on only one thing as the recording played: breathing.
Deep breathing has many health benefits including:
- Higher oxygen uptake – oxygen is the main substrate needed to break down glucose for metabolism. More oxygen will therefore help energize our cells.
- Helps detoxify your body – Deep breathing releases the toxins from the body in two ways: Firstly by exhaling CO2 from the lungs and secondly by stimulating the lymphatic system to pump properly. The lymph system carries toxins away from our cells and requires muscle contraction, from deep breathing or exercise, in order to pump around the body.
- Improved mood – Deep breathing releases any built up or negative emotions
- Induces relaxation – Deep breathing decreases heart rate, reduces muscle tension, and lowers stress hormones in the body
By focusing my energy on this one technique I was able to quiet my body and mind. And today I want you to do the same. Take 5 minutes out of your day to sit quietly, close your eyes and just breathe. Block out all the outside noise, release any physical or emotional tension, and be at peace with your thoughts. ‘When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace’ – Author Unknown.