Take A Wellness Break: breathing easier

breathe easier

You don’t usually have to think about breathing; after all, it happens automatically. But when you’re stressed, your “fight or flight” mode is activated. As your body prepares to do battle or beat it, breathing gets short and shallow, which feeds that panicked feeling.

Deep, calm breathing tells the body there’s no real danger. Your body and mind relax, and you’re better able to handle whatever is in front of you, whether that’s a bear or a boss acting like a bear.

To get to that calm sweet spot, take a seat (yes, we’re always telling you to get out of your chair, but for this exercise it’s best to sit comfortably.) Place one hand over your heart and the other on your belly. Close your eyes and start your next breath by expanding your abdomen and bringing the breath up to your chest. Exhale from the chest and gently pull in the abdomen. Inhale by expanding the abdomen and bring the breath to the chest; exhale from the chest and gently pull in the abdomen. Breathe comfortably, at a relaxed pace, with your attention on your hands, feeling the smooth motion of your breathing.

Try this for 3-5 breaths. Return breathing to normal pace. Repeat this exercise whenever you need to and you’ll be breathing easy in no time.