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Running Too Fast? Stop and Breathe

By Sandy Schroeder

About this time every year, I start to look a little wild-eyed, as everything seems to be coming unglued. I realize I still have a lot of holiday prep to do and the days are spinning by.

If that sounds familiar to you, says the best way forward may be to stop and breathe.

When I do that, I slow down enough to make a logical list, delegate tasks, and organize everything that needs to happen. By calming down, and regaining my perspective, I am a lot more effective, and everything actually does get done.

If you want to try it, Dr. Andrew Weil has developed some famous exercises for breathing that work. He suggests using these 10-minute exercises twice daily, whenever you are rushed, crave junk foods, or can’t sleep. Don’t wait until you are on the edge, use them to level out, keeping your balance and reenergizing.

  • 4-7-8 Breathing - Sit up straight with your tongue on roof of mouth. Exhale completely from the mouth. Close mouth. Slowly inhale through nose counting to four. Hold breath counting to seven. Exhale, counting to 8.  Repeat 10 times.
  • Morning Abdomen Breathing -Sit up straight with one arm on chest, the other on belly. Breathe deeply through nose, relax stomach without moving chest.  Exhale as you suck in stomach. Repeat 10 times.
  • Calming Nostril Breathing – Use this when you are irritated to refocus and regain energy. Sit straight. Put thumb on right nostril, inhale deeply with left nostril. Close left nostril with ring finger, and exhale with right nostril.  Repeat three times.

In a busy world, regular, mindful breathing can be one more way for us to calm down and regroup. You can also try mindfulness meditation, or tai chi classes. Think about where you become most stressed, and then work on those areas, using methods that work for you.

Along with daily breathing, you might consider redoing your daily schedule to allow for more breaks. You could also start with a meditation in the morning before the day begins, and use stretching exercises as you work. Whatever keeps you relaxed, and in charge of your day, will make you feel better at the end of the day. Then you might be more likely to head home and enjoy the evening, also getting a good night’s sleep.

If your stress and anxiety persist, see your physician for counseling recommendations to work through the problem.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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