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Overcome Stress One Breath at a Time

By Sandy Schroeder

Too often we look for complex solutions when stress strikes. We may be knee deep in a work crisis or wading through a chaotic situation at home. Either way, when stress hits, the breath often becomes quick and shallow as we desperately look for relief.

MindBodyGreen.com suggests you use a simple breath formula to slow everything way down, relaxing the mind and body to slowly but surely pull everything together.

Here's How It Works

Engage your breath and calm your inner vibrations with a few simple steps. Researchers tell us that slow focused breaths will put us in touch with our spiritual consciousness which can be a vital life force, which is also known as Qi (pronounced chee) or prana. When I do this it feels like I am finding a moment of peace and regaining control of my world.

See how this Zen meditation feels to you. Warning, you may find it positively addictive.

Create quiet - Find a quiet spot and shut down your computer, phone or any other alarms.

Sit up straight - Choose any comfortable chair and make sure your back is straight.

Let your eyes relax - In place of the usual alert focus on daily details, let your gaze rest softly on a picture, plant or low light, shutting out all of the distractions around you.

Focus on your breath - Feel your belly rising and falling and the air moving in your chest as your thoughts go sailing by like butterflies floating in the breeze.

Silently count your breaths - After the first inhale, count one. At the end of the exhale, count two.  Continue on until you reach five. If you get to six and find your mind is moving on to things you have to do later, pull yourself back to one. If outside noise interrupts, start again at one. Don't worry about the restarts. That's completely normal. MindBodyGreen says we have about 50,000 thoughts a day! Just keep slowly counting one through five.

Let awareness grow - After you have been relaxing and counting, you may find you are more aware of the sounds around you and the temperature. Gradually let go of the counting of breaths and return to your day.

Ease back into your day - Don't spring back into action. Instead, move slowly and deliberately back into your activities, reclaiming them one by one.

Use your breath whenever needed - Make use of this simple breathing technique as often as you need it. Whenever you need a break or a few moments of peace, step outside or close the door and let your breath do the work.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chula Vista, Calif.

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