We’re all about those moments of calm amid the chaos, and harnessing the power of our breath can help us do just that. Here’s how to master breathing.
By Anneka Rose
Let’s face it – the journey of motherhood is a beautiful mix of pure joy, nerve-racking moments, emotional roller-coasters, and intense multi-tasking. With our hands perpetually full (literally and metaphorically), stress can sometimes get the best of us.
But, what if we told you that your secret weapon to deal with stress is as simple and as natural as breathing? Yes, darling, you read it right – breathing.
“BY TAKING CONTROL OF OUR BREATHING, WE CAN CALM OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM, REDUCE OUR HEART RATE, LOWER OUR BLOOD PRESSURE, AND PROMOTE FEELINGS OF CALM AND RELAXATION.”
Our Breath: The Calming Powerhouse
Our breath is like a magical natural tranquiliser that our body carries around all the time. It’s not just about taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide; it’s way more than that. Conscious breathing acts as an anchor, grounding us in the present moment, reducing stress, and helping us reconnect with our bodies.
When we’re stressed, our breath becomes shallow, which can intensify feelings of anxiety and panic. By taking control of our breathing, we can calm our nervous system, reduce our heart rate, lower our blood pressure, and promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
Breathing Techniques for Stress Release
So, how can we harness this power? Here are some simple yet effective breathing techniques for you to try:
1. Box Breathing
This technique is a powerful yet straightforward stress reliever. Start by exhaling to a count of four, then inhale to the same count. Hold your breath for four counts, and then exhale again to the same count. You’ve just created a ‘box’ of breath.
2. 4-7-8 Breathing
This method is a little like Box Breathing with a twist. Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7, and then exhale for 8 counts. This technique is especially good before bed or when you feel an intense wave of stress.
3. Diaphragmatic Breathing
Place your hand on your belly. As you breathe in, let your belly push your hand out. Exhale and feel your belly return. This deep breathing encourages full oxygen exchange, slows the heartbeat, and can lower or stabilise blood pressure.
Remember, these techniques might feel a bit awkward or challenging at first, but keep practicing. Soon, they will become your go-to calming strategies.
Breathe into Your Daily Routine
Here are a few tips to incorporate conscious breathing into your everyday life:
1. Make it a Morning Ritual
Start your day with a few minutes of conscious breathing. This will set a calm tone for the day.
2. Use it as a Tool
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths. This can be while you’re cooking, feeding your little one, or before you dive into your overflowing email inbox.
3. Teach Your Kids
Our little ones can benefit hugely from learning to control their breathing too. It can help them manage their emotions better and make them feel more grounded.
4. End Your Day
Just as it’s helpful to start the day with deep breathing, end your day the same way. It’ll help you unwind and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
The beauty of these techniques is that they can be practiced anywhere, at any time. The more you practice, the more automatic they will become, providing you with a handy tool to navigate your beautiful, chaotic, wonderful mama life.