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Moving Too Fast? Breathe Deeply. Calm Your Heart

By Sandy Schroeder

When life just will not hold still and you have to run to keep up, you may feel your heart racing and your body straining. Whatever your age, that is not a comfortable spot to be in. If you run every day or walk every morning, you may be in shape to handle random hits of stress. On the other hand, if you are lodged in front of a computer for hours at a time, a sudden emergency call, financial challenge or new development with you or your family may be more of a test for you and your system.

What to Do?

Here is a simple way to calm your thoughts and soothe your heart with your breath wherever you are.

  • Find a quiet spot; kneel and sit with heels underneath hips; or sit with  legs crossed
  • Put one hand above your heart
  • Put the other hand on your belly
  • Close your eyes
  • Inhale as you say "let"
  • Exhale as you say "go"
  • Repeat five or more times

Open your eyes and put your hands on your thighs. Take another deep breath and look around. Your pulse should have slowed as your body relaxed.

Then Keep Right On Going

If this simple exercise works for you, look around at the many ways you can boost your resilience and calm yourself as you stay aware of your breath. Taking deep breaths fits right in with many ways to calm down.

In yoga - If you do regular yoga poses never hold your breath as you do a pose. That will encourage your blood pressure to go up. Instead, stay involved with executing each movement as you breathe in and out and let your breath blend with your effort.

In tai chi - As you stand and follow your teacher through one gentle sweeping movement after another, let your body relax and your breath follow your movements. You will come away lighter in spirit, refreshed and relaxed.

In meditation - Find a quiet spot morning or evening to do a simple focused meditation. Breathe in, breathe out as you contemplate your thoughts letting them float by unjudged. Over time your mind, body and heart may come to depend on this short simple break from the day, helping you enjoy life more deeply.

While you walk - Stay relaxed as you breathe in and out and move at a comfortable pace. Try for 30 minutes a day to strengthen your body and ease your stress.

As you focus more on your breath, you may want to attend meditation, yoga or tai chi classes. Whatever brings the most calmness and peace of mind is definitely worth repeating.

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

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