You wake up in the morning to realize your alarm didn't go off. Rushing to get ready in the morning, you run up to your car only to dump your coffee on the ground. To make matters worse, you then find yourself stuck in traffic longer than usual due to an accident.
When our lives are this chaotic and busy, it's easily to get super stressed out and feel completely out of balance.
But I have great news...
Despite these outer circumstances, you don't have to feel this way!
It is possible to live a joyful, fulfilling, miraculous life where you can feel calm, balanced, and peaceful.
And the secret doesn't come in the form of some magic pill. Despite how much the pharmaceutical companies and medical industry may want us to believe, it certainly doesn't come from taking Xanax, Prozac, or Klonopin.
In fact, it's much easier, sustainable, and a heck of a lot more cost effective than taking a pill.
Want to know this super simple tool?
Breathing -- yep, you read that right! It's breathing.
How the heck is that going to do anything? I can hear you say.
Well, allow me to explain.
Often when we get stressed and overwhelmed we tend to either breath improperly, hold our breath, or stop breathing entirely. We start taking shallow breaths through our upper chest rather than through our diaphragm.
This is a normal and natural response to stress. When something stressful happens, our sympathetic nervous system gets activated. Our heart rate than goes up, our muscles become tense, we breath improperly, and so on. When we have this reaction, it is commonly referred to as the fight or flight response -- so we've recognized we may be in danger, so we become activated to decide whether we should fight or flight.
Our fight or flight response is not a bad thing. In fact, we need it for our survival in case we get into dangerous situations. We needed it back in the day when we lived in the wild and needed to be concerned about getting attacked by bears, wolves, or whatever.
However, the problem in today's modern world is that our fight or flight response becomes activated in situations where everything is, in fact, okay. It may get activated due to simply being impatient with morning traffic. It may get activated due to overly thinking about about financial issues. It becomes an issue when we don't just choose to either fight or flight and then let it go, but, rather, hold on to it.
When our sympathetic nervous system gets activated due to some trigger and we don't just feel the experience and let it go, that's when we can feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and drained. When we've spent out entire day ready to either fight or flight, it takes a lot of energy and can get pretty darn exhausting.
This is why breathing is so incredibly important. Through the power of our breath, we can easily get ourselves out of a fight or flight mode and back into a normal level of function where we can feel calm and relaxed, think clearly, and, ultimately, experience happiness. This is why I teach some kind of breath work or meditation to all of my coaching clients -- because it is pivotal to creating a solid foundation so we can create lives filled with happiness, joy, and love.
So how exactly can we use breath to calm ourselves down and get balanced? Here's a super easy breathing technique to use:
Sit up with your back straight and place your hand on your abdomen. When you breath in through your nose, make sure that your abdomen is expanding outward. When you exhale, your abdomen should contract towards your spine.
Now, breathe in for three counts, and then exhale for six counts. Do this cycle of breath a few times.
If you want to go deeper into this, breathe in for four counts and then exhale for eight counts. Do this cycle of breath anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes.
This is a great breathing exercise to do because it helps calm down our variable heart rate, which will lead us to feeling much more calm, relaxed, and balanced in our mind and body.
In some cases, particularly individuals who have experienced past trauma, doing any kind of breath work can be triggering. Old emotions of sadness, anger, and fear may come up. If this happens, it's important to reach out to a local psychotherapist to get support and care in processing these emotions.
Otherwise, practice this breathing exercise at least once a day for 30 days. This super simple tool can easily help you create a solid foundation in creating a life of peace, balance, happiness, and joy.
This breathing exercise is one of the meditations I give in my meditation album Ignite Love from Within. To learn more about my meditation album, click here. To grab a copy of my free meditation from the album called Healing Blocks to Love, click here.
Remember this: By connecting with our breath, we are able to find peace.
Take action now!
Do the breathing exercise that I shared in this article and, in the comments below, share with me what the experience was like for you.
Jennifer is a self-love coach, writer, spiritual mentor and teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create more loving relationships with themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.