Have you had someone tell you just to breathe and your natural reaction was something along the lines of rolling your eyes or wanting desperately to punch them in the face?
Especially if you’re upset or stressed about something. It’s like it makes your blood boil even more. Don’t tell me to relax! Now I’m even more hulk-like!
Well, I’m certainly not going to tell you to relax…I do have a couple questions though:
- Do you ever get nagging aches & pains that distract you from your work?
- Do you ever feel like your mind is running at 100MPH and you can’t seem to shut it off?
- Or maybe you have persistent pain that limits you from being able to play golf, go rock climbing or go on a walk/hike with your significant other?
- Have you started to feel like having pain, feeling insecure and/or out of shape is your new norm?
Well, if any of that even slightly resonated with you, and if you’re open to it, here are 5 reasons that might peak your interest in this whole “breathing” thing.
- It literally lowers stress [by activating your vagus nerve which decreases the sympathetic (fight or flight) tone of your nervous system. every time you breathe, you are quite literally telling your nervous system “it’s all good, nothing to worry about here!”]
- It allows you to finally turn your brain off [the different areas of our brain compete for their attention, so by focusing on something physical, our brain activity cannot focus on the millions of thoughts running through it – it must instead divert its energy to the physical. this is the same reason you can’t really talk if you’re concentrating heavily on some difficult new yoga pose or dance move or golf swing.]
- It relieves tension in spine that may be contributing to your pain [many people hold themselves in a very rigid, upright position all day, which creates a lot of excessive muscular tension in the spine (much like holding a bicep curl all day long – it would hurt & fatigue eventually!). it’s extremely difficult to hold this stiff position while breathing deeply, so if we practice deep breathing, we learn to let that stiff, rigid posture go.]
- It improves core strength [deep, diaphragmatic breathing actually requires use of specific abdominal muscles – the muscles in between your rib cage. so, by focusing on a deep, long exhalation, we are actually enabling our core muscles to activate better!]
- Its a powerful way of giving movement to your body 24/7 [breathing is actually a form of micro-movement. as we inhale and exhale, the joints and muscles of the spine and the core are getting movement. and as we know, the body does not like inactivity, so by learning to breathe deeply throughout the day, we are feeding our body more movement in areas that are often tense/inactive. this has a plethora of benefits!]
I’m going to be following up on each of these topics for the next couple of weeks, so be sure to stay tuned. I’ll be posting them on my Facebook page, my Instagram, my Twitter, and my exclusive Facebook Group!
And don’t be shy – if you have a specific question about any of this, email me so we can jump on a quick phone call to discuss what’s going on with you!
To learn more about Melanie Daly and her personal training, please visit her website: http://www.backpainpersonaltrainer.com/