If changing one thing in your daily routine could drastically change your life, would you be interested? If it only took 5 minutes would it tempt you? Yes, understanding your breath and the role it plays with your central nervous system (CNS) can bring dramatic and profound change quicker and easier than you ever imagined.
CC Transcript Below
CC Transcript Below
Diaphragmatic Breathing for Mindfulness and Stress
So we begin
and we begin with the breath. Why the breath?
Because it truly is, the mind-body connection.
Here’s what I mean…
Take one hand and put it on your chest
Take the other hand and put it on your stomach.
Take a nice deep breath in
and then exhale
And take another nice deep breath in
Now, I want you to notice
which hand rises a little more than the other this time?
Take a nice deep breath in
Now, did you notice that the hand on your chest
rise a little bit more or the hand on your belly
The reason that is so important to
recognize and know it’s because it’s going to help you realize whether or not
you’re being or doing chest breathing or
diaphragmatic breathing. And Hank, why is that so important?
because it ties into our nervous system.
And the thing to remember is
that our nervous system is either in fight or flight mode
or relax and recovery mode.
And so when we are in fight or flight mode, our body and
Our nervous system is wound up. It’s ready to fight
or get out of the way.
Basically it’s in the mode of whether we’re going to get food
or on trying to avoid becoming food.
So all of the hormones, all the neurotransmitters are
amped up, our cortisol levels, our adrenaline, rate there on que
our muscles are pretense
You notice when we take a deep breath in,
your muscles start to tense up, your upper body tenses up.
And if you are repeatedly breathing, predominately in the chest
all day what are we doing
We’re tightening, we’re tightening, we’re tightening
and we’re sending a message to the rest of our body that we
need to be prepared to fight or flight.
Now the exact opposite is true,
When we breathe with our diaphragm. When we breathe
With that big muscle down by your belly
we take that deep breath in and our belly expands and relaxes.
When we begin to breathe with our diaphragm
what we’re doing is sending a message to our nervous
system that everything’s okay and that it’s
time to relax and recover.
Now as you start to breathe with that
diaphragm and your central nervous system goes into that relax and recovery phase
the exact opposite happens of when your body is in fight or flight mode.
The neurotransmitters and the hormones that your body is releasing are
there to begin to repair and to recover, to calm and to relax,
your muscles don’t going into tension, but they go into relaxation.
Now if you had a child or
you’ve been around babies and you’ve ever watched them sleep like a baby?
What’s going on? When you watch that little child
sleep in there just not that little arm is just kind of sitting there and you can lift it,
neck falls and goes wherever, what are they doing?
They are breathing with their diaphragm.
Next time you watch a baby sleeping and you’re knocked out, watch that belly
that belly is going to go up, up, up and up like a big balloon
and then it’s going to come down, and then it’s going to go up and then it’s going to come down
So the first thing that we want to do is we begin
to make our mind body connection, learn about mindfulness and everything else
to become aware of where we are breathing from, because
our breath is going to help us dictate where is our mind
and our body goes.
Okay, so for the practice of the day, today what you’re going to
do is you’re on your back and either in a bent knee
position or with your legs up, nice and comfortable
and you going to take cell phone on a deck of cards something small with a little bit of weight
and you’re going to put it on your belly button.
And you’re going to simply close your eyes, take a deep breath in
and take that deep breath in
card or cell phone raise up and then come back down.
Take a deep breath in and let it come back down.
Now it’s going to be difficult at first, right?
You’re learning a new muscle, it’s you know
you use to know how to do it, you lost that ability.
It’s kind of like riding a bike. You don’t forever forget how to do it but if it’s been
a while, it’s going to take a little while for you to get back up and running.
So don’t be discouraged, as with anything else the more often you do it
the better it’s going to be. And you can practice this nice deep
breath now from a sitting position. From a standing position
today what we want to do is get into a lying down position because
the gravity is going to help us get that feel back. Alright.
Alright, so what I want to do for your homework
today is simple, I want you find a comfortable spot, on the floor
legs up, if you can, otherwise knees bent
nice comfortable position, grab your cell phone, put it on your belly
and then find a favorite song or instrumental
that you can play. Put it on your headphones or play it in a stereo in the room
and for the length of that song, somewhere between, I don’t know, 3-5 minutes
…all you need to do is take a deep breath in
and let it out. And with each breath just be aware
what that cell phone is doing. You can raise it up a little bit higher
and then let it come down a little bit lower.
There’s not a right or wrong here. Don’t get caught up in all of the details
ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, if you’re like more is coming up, you’re going to use some of your chest
it’s not going to good turn to automatic just with the belly and that’s okay.
For today, your practice is
just to find a song that you enjoy, and spend that
short amount of time becoming aware again of your
diaphragm. That’s it.