Get a watch with a second hand. Have your friend time you. Close your eyes. Open them in exactly sixty seconds. How long did you make it? Most people only get to 20-30 seconds. This is a sign of how fast we live. No wonder most people can’t relax and remain stressed all the time.
Stress contributes to most health problems. Shallow breathing patterns and muscle tension are signs of stress. There is a direct relationship between non-diaphragmatic, shallow breathing, and tense neck & shoulder muscles, and consequently headaches.
Most Americans breathe with only one third or less of their lung capacity.
But you can create a stress relaxation program in your brain by consciously changing your breathing pattern. Here’s an exercise to help with that.
Sit up comfortably straight. Breathe in to a count of 4. Then hold your breath for 7 seconds. Then breathe out to a count of 8, and pause again. Or modify the numbers so you are breathing out for twice the amount of time that you inhale in order to fully empty your lungs. Repeat this for three repetitions.
Consciously feel your breath to help become aware of the respiratory muscle motions. Then calmly and patiently "let go" fully while exhaling and allow your body to receive a breath of fresh air with each inspiration.
Become aware of the pauses between the inhale and exhale. You will be amazed at the change in your breathing rhythm after just a few of these guided breathing exercises.
So, it doesn’t always ‘take a lot of time’ to become healthy. You just have to be willing to slow down, notice how you’re breathing and breathe differently.
Just commit to doing this breathing break at least once a day and you will shortly notice it is easier to allow yourself to relax more completely. And you’ll enjoy more of the good things in life.
If you or someone you know has lower back pain, sciatica or a herniated disc, call us at (414) 355-0433 to schedule a Complimentary Consultation with Dr. Donaldson to find out if you qualify for one of our StandUpRight Spinal Disc Decompression programs or request an appointment online.