When was the last time you stopped what you were doing, took a long deep breath, and experienced what was going on in that moment?
Whether it is a positive or negative experience, we often live our day to lives on autopilot. Completing one task and rushing to complete the next one. We lose sight of what is going on right in front of us because we are on this constant move.
So how does this relate to self-care?
By taking some time to slow down and become aware of what you are experiencing can help you in determining if you need a break in that moment. For instance, if you have a desk job, it is best to take some time to get up and stretch and move around a bit to help your circulation and your posture. Sometimes we are so tuned into what we are doing that we forget to pay attention to what our body is telling us. Maybe your head is hurting and that may be a sign that you simply need to be drinking more water, especially if you are living in south Texas!
While engaging in deep breathing, focus in on where you are holding tension. For me, it’s almost always on my shoulders and neck. Sometimes I don’t even realize that I am so tense until I allow myself to relax. Other people hold that tension in their lower back and legs.
What are the benefits to deep breathing?
When people are very busy, it is likely to be forgetful. Engaging in deep breathing has been found to improve creativity and memory because you are able to think more clearly. This normally results from allowing more oxygen to your body. Deep breathing aids lowering stress, anxiety, and blood pressure.
So how can you incorporate this into your daily life?
Allow yourself to breathe in for 3 long seconds and slowly exhale. Do this about 3-5 times. The best thing about engaging in deep breathing and bringing awareness to your body, is that you can do this at any time and it’s free! So you have no excuses!
Try engaging in deep breathing when the following occur:
- At a stop light or stop sign
- During commercials on T.V. or on the radio
- While taking a walk
- While in the shower
- Right before you go to bed
- Before you get out of bed
Take some time to simply breathe every day. Honestly, only 3-5 long deep slow breaths, can significantly change your mind set in that moment and will make you more aware of your body.
As you slowly get comfortable with this, you can begin to incorporate different activities.
If you want to take it to the next level or simply want some guidance when engaging in deep breathing, here are some fun apps that can help you. Some of these apps also remind you to breathe where you can set a notification.
- YouTube has some great meditation exercises
- Headspace: Meditation & Mindfulness
- Insight Timer
- Calm – Meditate, Sleep, Relax
- Simple Habit Meditation
Feel free to read the first post about self-care on this blogging series.
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Priscilla specializes in working with individuals identify healthy coping strategies that can be incorporated into their lives. If you would like to learn new coping strategies that will benefit your life, contact Priscilla today to schedule your free consultation.