Tips on breathing might seem unnecessary, after all we do it every day and without much thought, but as the experts all agree, it’s the key to restful rejuvenation and less stress.
How to breath?
Do you know how to breathe? Really breathe? There is a marked difference between the kind that just gets you through the day and the kind that gives life. The two main forms are: chest breathing and diaphragmatic. In other words: shallow and deep. “When we chest breathe this ignites our stress response, whereas diaphragmatic breathing promotes calm,” says founder of global luxury gym, Workshop Gymnasium, Lee Mullins. “Try switching to breathing through your mouth instead of your nose.” Clear your breathing passages with the frankincense and eucalyptus scented This Works Stress Check Breathe In, or a hefty dose of Aromatherapy Associates Breathe Bath and Shower Gel lathered on to skin.
What does bad breathing do?
If you’re only shallow breathing all the time, this not only triggers the stress hormone cortisol, it can effect digestion, reduce upper body mobility, sluggishness and insomnia. Alan Dolan, the Breathing Guru, says “breathing is a vehicle which transports oxygen and energy into and around our body at the most profound level possible. It releases stress, it facilitates the release of old energies which has got filed away in the system.” Using salts in your bath are a therapeutic way of promoting rejuvenation in the body while unblocking energies that prevent the body from working at its optimum state. Susanne Kaufmann Altitude Salts and Mauli Himalayan Healing Salts are ideal companions to deep breathing.
What can we do?
Take it deeper. Alan Dolan says that we only use 30% of our respiratory system in our day-to-day breathing. “Stress is a bodily contraction where mental and emotional energy goes unprocessed,” says Dolan. The practice of deep breathing eliminates this clog up of emotional blockages to bring the body into a relaxed state. Taking the time to breathe deeper makes all the difference. “Even just 10 mins daily, focused on your breathing, will de-stress,” adds Dolan. Download the app to take you through breathing techniques step by step: app.breathguru.com. Focus on your breathing just before hitting the hay, and inhale the soothing lavender and chamomile scent of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray which helps promote a sense of instant calm before bed.
Try this at home
To try to undo the bad habits of shallow stressful breathing, Mullins suggests “crocodile breathing”:
- Lie flat on your stomach.
- Place one hand on top of the other under your forehead.
- Keep your legs and body straight.
- Take a deep breathe through your nose for four seconds. Your tummy will expand into the floor.
- Hold your breath for two seconds before slowly exhaling for four. Repeat for five minutes.
Try lighting Byredo Tree House Candle while practising to promote a sense of outdoors and relaxation in the room.