Reduce Stress, slow down Aging, improve your health, easily, anywhere anytime.
The practice of focused breathing has been well researched and many different studies have shown that focused breathing not only reduces stress and anxiety, but is also good for your overall health.
For example, a study in the British Medical Journal found that mind-body relaxation techniques significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks.1
Another study in the American Journal of Hypertension found that it helps lower your blood pressure. This study also showed a 23% decrease in the use of antihypertensive drugs among people who practiced focused breathing daily.2
Yet another study by Harvard University concluded that focused breathing can reduce pain and the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.3
That’s very significant as increased levels of Cortisol are associated with more rapid and abnormal rates of aging.
Focused breathing is actually a very simple process to learn and to incorporate in your daily life. It can be performed almost anywhere, anytime and benefits are quickly felt.
Here’s how to begin:
- Find a quiet comfortable place to sit. Preferably place your hands into your lap and gently close your eyes.
- For the first few minutes, focus on the natural rhythm of your breath. Start by inhaling through your nose for the count of 3 – hold your breath for the count of 3– and then exhale slowly through your mouth for the count of 6. Many of my clients also find that thinking the words Calm on the in breath, and Relax on the out breath adds the sense of relaxation that will begin to move through your muscles.
- Gradually as you continue to breathe slowly, focus your concentration on the muscles of your face and head. Imagine a wave of relaxation moving from the top of your head down through your facial muscles. As your face starts to relax, allow yourself to gently smile. This can be enhanced by remembering someone that you love or a happy memory.
- Allow yourself to just imagine letting everything go initially by relaxing your muscles. By staying focused on the pattern of your breathing you will be able to at least temporarily release Fear, worry, resentment and constriction…. Let the sense of increasing relaxation move down through your body as you focus on counting or the words Calm and Relaxed.
- If your attention drifts to other things, gently redirect back it to your breath.
- Continue this practise for 5 or more minutes. With time and consistent practise this will get much easier and your body will begin to very quickly experience a wave of relaxation moving through it, often after only a few breaths. Making focused breathing a great tool to use in “those sudden moments when you find yourself stressed”.
Try focused breathing at least once a day. Twice a day will bring even better results.
The more you practise the more readily you will remember to use this great relaxation technique when stressed.
You’ll find that this simple relaxation technique of using focused breathing has the following benefits:
- improves your physical mental and emotional health,
- reduces heart attack risk
- lowered Blood Pressure
- improved concentration
- while enhancing your overall sense of well-being.
Committed to supporting you to Get Well, Stay Well, Live Well and Flourish
Dr. Sonja Gwosdezki (Registered chiropractor)
Wellbeing Empowerment and Stress Relief Expert
Sustainable Weight-loss Coach.
1 Patel C, Marmot M.G., Terry D.J., et al., “Trial of relaxation in reducing coronary risk: four year follow up,” Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 Apr 13; 290(6475):1103–6
2 Schneider R.H., et al., “A randomized controlled trial of stress reduction in the treatment of hypertension in African Americans during one year,” American Journal of Hypertension 2005;18(1):88-98
3 Nidich S, et al., “A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults,” Am J Hypertens. 2009 Dec;22(12):1326-31