Take a Breather

I recieved this in my email this morning and thought I would share! From one of my favorite FoodNetwork peopleEllie Krieger.

Take a Breather

When I talk to people about the importance of proper breathing, I get a lot of skeptical looks. Yet deep, slow, focused breathing can change the way you feel, give you an emotional lift, and reduce stress and anxiety!

When you breathe, you deliver oxygen to all of your body's cells, including those in your brain. (If you've ever held your breath too long and become light-headed, it was because your brain was being starved of oxygen.) Normal breathing involves deep, slow inhalations and exhalations.

When you're stressed, however, you tend to take shorter, shallower breaths, which don't supply as much oxygen to your body. This actually increases the amount of stress you experience. Because breathing is fundamentally linked to the way you feel mentally and physically, simply changing the way you breathe will enable you to handle stress better.

You probably can't remember the last time you sat quietly and simply focused on your breath — but with a little effort taking a breather can become a regular activity. Today, I want you to do a five-minute exercise that will allow you to become aware of your breath, slowing down your heart rate and reducing your stress level in the process.

It's simple: Just sit and be aware of your breathing. Inhale, exhale, and repeat. Your breath may begin to slow and deepen, but don't actively try to change it. Just follow it without judgment.

How does paying attention to your breath change how you feel? How does it change your breathing? You may be surprised how relaxing this small step can be. Anytime you feel stressed or anxious going forward, do the five-minute breather to return your body to a state of calm.


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