Thursday, July 24, 2014

Feeling Stressed? Stop. Focus. Breathe.

Yes, it's just that simple.

Most of us live busy lives. We're always on the go. We overbook our schedules. Some of us never stop. When this happens, stress builds...and builds...and builds, until you feel like you'll explode (or implode). During times like this, we tend to shallow breathe, leaving us oxygen deprived, which only causes health issues, more tension, and guess what? More stress.


Focus and take some deep breaths. Control it.

We all know breathing is an involuntary respiratory function, but controlled breathing is intentional. Here's an example:

Those who know me will tell you I don't deal well with high stress. One of my big stress inducers? Traffic. In Houston. Yeah, it's pretty awful, right? When driving in Houston, during traffic, I deep breathe. Fill the belly on my inhales, empty the belly on my exhales. It only takes a couple of minutes to calm the mind, reduce the blood pressure, and the occasional thoughts of road rage. You can also count your controlled breathing in your head, such as, "Inhale, 2, 3, 4...Exhale, 2, 3, 4" and so on until the stress is reduced.

Yes, sometimes even yogis get stressed out. It happens to the best of us.

This article in Forbes had some great information about controlling the breath.

Another great article about breathing to reduce stress.

Remember, the next time you feel yourself stressed out, stop, focus, and breathe.