Breathing Exercises for Mental & Physical Wellness

Breathing Exercises for wellness

Some of you may be familiar with the increasing popularity of meditation and breathing exercises. It’s no surprise these practices have become more well known as things such as the pandemic have heightened stress, anxiety and depression in our society over the past couple years! There is an incredible book, “Breath” by James Nester for anyone who’d like to dive a little deeper into the history of breathwork and the science behind it. Today we’ll walk through several benefits that come with breathwork and I’ll include a link for some fantastic guided videos to get you started in your own practice of mindful breathing exercises!

Calms Anxiety

Many therapists swear by slow, deep breathing exercises to tackle anxiety attacks and it’s even better when used as long term treatment. Often during an anxiety attack when you feel you aren’t getting enough oxygen and start to hyperventilate, your breathing becomes rapid, short and shallow creating an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Slow deep breaths will regulate that imbalance versus contributing to it like the short shallow breaths will. Deep breathing helps regulate your heart rate and increase oxygen levels and allow toxins to leave the body with carbon dioxide. This helps signal the brain to relax, regular deep breathing exercises will help balance hormones releasing endorphins into the body.

Decreases Toxicity In The Body

Daily stress, bad eating habits, lack of sleep and shallow breathing creates an acidic internal environment. With deep breathing toxins are released with carbon dioxide allowing the body to return to a more alkaline state. It could essentially be considered detoxifying. 

Improves Digestive Health

By increasing oxygen in the digestive system through deep breathing it allows the organs to perform better helping relieve gastrointestinal issues like constipation, indigestion and so on. A healthy digestive system and gut biome is essential to overall health!

Great for Cardiovascular Health

Regular deep breathing strengthens the cardiovascular system and muscles helping improve blood pressure, decreasing risk of stroke and even stimulates the vagus nerve which is responsible for the “fight or flight” response which is what tends to flare up during things like a panic attack, anxiety or nervous situations.

These are just a few of the ways that breathing exercises can dramatically improve your quality of life! It seems so simple but the proof is in the pudding. Try doing a breathing exercise twice a day for a week…one solid week and see what it does for you. It just might blow your mind! The link below leads to James Nestors website where you can find his book but specifically several videos for breathing exercises that you can follow along, now some of the videos are a bit advanced so if you struggle with weaker lungs currently just opt for 5 minutes of slow deep breathing twice a day as your lungs build strength! 

https://www.mrjamesnestor.com/breath-vids

 

Tips For Managing Occasional Stress

Tips for Managing Stress

Today’s world is full of stressors, triggers, to do lists, the list goes on and on. Sometimes it’s really almost too much to manage! So we’re going to take a step back from cannabinoid education today and focus on some natural tips to manage daily stress and hopefully bring a little peace and sunshine to your world!

Stay Active!

Exercise is not only great for the body but great for the mind as well! Building muscle among many other things helps burn fat, enhance joint stability and increase bone density which will help you tremendously later in life but aside from the physical benefits your mind has just as much to gain from a solid sweat sesh. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin…that’s four different happy hormones! On top of the release of these happy hormones you’re also releasing built up tension and adrenaline that’s causing you to feel “on edge”. Exercise works as well if not better than medication for many people.

Ditch the Caffeine

I know, no coffee…wild concept right? Well the good news is that caffeine doesn’t have a negative effect on everyone. BUT as we know it is a stimulant so whether we like it or not, it’s totally plausible that caffeine could be leaving you feeling a little more on edge than necessary. Research has shown that caffeine may worsen anxiety disorders, cause the jitters, nervousness and can even cause panic attacks in some people. Yikes! Now I’m not saying you can never have caffeine, just get to know your body and do what serves you best!

Meditate

Meditation is by far a favorite of mine. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience and learn more about the practice of meditation, it can seem a little “out there” or even trendy as of lately. The reality is meditation is not what many people think. Many assume it’s solely a practice that requires you to empty your mind and if you’re not being perfectly still and thoughtless then you’re doing it wrong. Well I’m happy to tell you that is incorrect. Meditation is a mindfulness practice and there are many many different styles of meditation. The goal is not to ignore and shut out all thoughts, it’s to find a place of stillness and grounding where you can allow the thoughts to flow. Allow them to enter your mind, acknowledge them and allow them to leave, it’s the awareness of your thoughts and the ability to approach them in a more objective manner. Sure, eventually you can achieve the quiet place of stillness so many refer to but that’s after much practice! Check out the app “Waking Up” by Sam Harris if you’d like some tasteful guidance! 

Sleep

Don’t you wish there were more hours in the day? I know I do! With life throwing curve balls right and left it’s hard enough to keep up some days much less stay ahead, and if you’re trying to do it on inadequate sleep you’re in for a rough ride. Sleep is essential for literally countless reasons. Your mind and body can’t meet their potential without the time to recharge, reset and repair. Poor sleep is linked to depression, higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, inflammation and so much more. Do yourself a favor and spend a week truly focusing on getting not only enough but adequate sleep (no sleeping with the tv on!) and see what it does for your overall performance in life.

I could ramble about healthy habits and natural tips and tricks for days, especially when it comes to dealing with stress/anxiety/depression as these are things I’ve been studying for the better half of my life, but I’ll save you the lengthy read and save that for another day. Habits can be very hard to change, habits become a lifestyle but it’s the small changes that gain momentum and change your life. We hope these tips will help some of you out there!