365 Days of Fun in Marriage

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Stress Reduction the Easy Way

July24

Tip # 85

 

Breathe, Once in a While 

from Clipart.com

You’ll like it. You’ll feel better. Your attitude will be better; you’ll feel less stress. All around, breathing is just plain good for you.
 You already breathe everyday? Oh, I’m remiss. I’m not talking about taking in air 8-12 times a minute. That’s just air. I’m talking about deep breathing, proper breathing, breathing from the diaphragm–putting oxygen into your system.

Some people have never taken a real breath in their whole lives. Deep breathing should be natural, but in our fast paced world (even as children) we somehow forget how to bring in all the oxygen our bodies need. Deep breathing is natural medicine for stress reduction.

If you’ve studied public speaking, acting, or singing, you’ve learned how to breathe from the diaphragm. Have you ever sat in an audience to watch how people breathe? Actually, it’s fun to do if you aren’t interested in what the speaker is saying. Watch people’s shoulders in the audience. Are the shoulders moving up and down with each breath? Then they aren’t breathing as they should.

The bottom of the diaphragm (at the stomach area) should fill first, then the rest of the lungs. It’s just like filling a glass of milk. The bottom is filled first, then the milk (air) travels and fills the whole glass (diaphragm).

So, what’s breathing got to do with marriage or having a good relationship with your spouse?

  • shallow breathing creates tension
  • deep breathing is done slowly, rhythmically, and releases tensions
  • deep breathing allows the proper amounts of oxygen into the blood stream which promotes health, as well as de-stresses the body.

It’s impossible for your body to stay tense if you are intentionally doing deep breathing. When your body is not so tense, you can participate in and react more on a level of your choosing instead of simply reacting out of tension. Check out what Dr. Oz says about what deep breathing can do for you:

http://www.realage.com/blogs/doctor-oz-roizen/what-a-little-deep-breathing-can-do-for-you.

I’ve taught several settings of deep breathing and the one I like best is called “shower of relaxation.” There are several steps involved, but in essence it’s: lie on your back (ankles not crossed, hands to your sides); breathe correctly several times; begin at tensing your toes and work all up throughout the body to the head; relax those muscles from the head down; repeat. Breathe again correctly several times.  Your body actually starts to feel limp from the self-induced relaxation. Of course, what I said took a half second but the whole routine takes longer.

There are all sorts of Internet sites and especially yoga sites which teach proper breathing and relaxation exercises.

If you buy a recording of instruction for deep breathing and relaxation, both of you can feel the stress relievers together.

Intentional, proper breathing is one of the best, cheapest, easiest ways to chill out in tense situations and for stress relieve after a difficult day. Beware, deep breathing can become habit forming!

 (Have you tried natural relaxation methods like this? Post a comment below.) 

~ Glenda  (gj)

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