How to react to daily stressful situations - BREATHE
How to react to daily stressful situations – breathe.
Do you remember, as a child, a situation where you were all upset and overwhelmed, and your mum, dad, grandma or perhaps primary school teacher would say ‘you’re okay’ or gently encourage you to ‘take a deep breath’? You did as they said and before not too long you were back out there running around, having forgotten what had you so worked up.
When was the last time, as an adult you found yourself completely stressed out with too much to do, too many to please and no end in sight? For many of us this is our modern life. In these particularly stressful moments, do you ever do what mum would have said to do – stop and take a deep breath?
The science behind YOUR stress.
As a human, you are meant to experience some stress, it is your instinctive response that keeps you safe and has helped us survive as a species. However, the things that create stress in our modern lives are far different to those that created stress in our cave man days. Today our stress tends to be ongoing and chronic rather than coming face to face with a predator, which was literally live or die.
However the physiologically responses, remain the same - increased stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol, increased heart rate, blood pressure, shutting down of digestive system. With chronic stress the nervous system responses stay on high alert rather than returning to a place of calm resulting in physiological and psychological effects that can be detrimental to physical and psychological/mental health.
You are safe, JUST BREATHE
One big diaphragmatic breath, communicates to every cell in your body that you are safe. You may not be able to control whatever it is that is causing you stress, but you can control how you react to it. And by taking a moment to breathe before you react, may open up a whole new perspective on what is really important and worthy of your energy.
Find that space between action and reaction
Holding of the breath in breathing exercises is known as ‘breath retention’ and has been shown to have positive effects on calming the nervous system.
Try this breathing exercise to find that space between your action and reaction.
Inhale 4 counts
hold 4 counts
exhale 6 counts
hold 2 counts
Repeat this for 3+ rounds
How did you go? This week, try and bring some awareness to when you are starting to feel stressed and see if you can stop it in its tracks by pausing, for even just a moment, to take a deep breath and reminding yourself that you are okay.
If you would like to learn more about the breath, or dedicate some time to a regular practice, yoga is a great please to start. Feel free to explore our website or reach out for more advice, we’d love to hear from you.