Mastering Stress with Breath Techniques

Article published at: Agora London Feb 1, 2024
Mastering Stress with Breath Techniques
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A conversation on Self-Care

We all experience the influence of various stressors on different levels in our lives. Stress can arise from a variety of sources, whether it's a major life event or the accumulation of numerous smaller challenges. Stress affects individuals across age groups, from children to adolescents and adults.

Impact of Stress on Our Lives.

Financial insecurity, work deadlines and various life pressures trigger our nervous system, provoking a response of fear and anxiety as if facing a potential life-threatening situation, ultimately impacting our long-term health. This activates our sympathetic nervous system, a network of nerves that supports our body in activating its “fight-or-flight” response, accelerating adrenal glands, cortisol levels and hormonal balance, potentially influencing our ageing process.

The Healing Power of Intentional Breathing.

Deep, slow breathing, maintaining a steady inhalation to exhalation ratio, signals the parasympathetic nervous system to soothe the body. When the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) is activated, our body enters a state of relaxation, promoting health and wellbeing. For this reason, intentional breathing can effectively manage stress responses, reducing anxiety, fear, racing thoughts and a  rapid heartbeat, having a direct impact on physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as longevity. Recent studies indicate that incorporating practices like yoga and mindfulness can affect the cognitive system and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting body regeneration and detoxification after periods of stress.

Exploring Various Breathing Techniques

Various breathing techniques exist, all with the common goal of enhancing longevity, memory, improving circulation, and reducing stress. Online resources provide reliable information for choosing a technique that suits individual preferences. Whether practising deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing, or the Lion's breath, the good news is that these exercises typically require minimal time each day. All it takes is finding a quiet space to refocus on oneself and pay attention to breathing.

Engaging in breathing or meditation techniques for self-regeneration is a proactive way to prioritise self-care and redirect attention inward. This becomes especially crucial when other stressors disrupt the balance of our system. While food, natural remedies, and connection with nature contribute to stress relief, cultivating a personal breathing technique can serve as a quick and effective method to restore overall physical and mental equilibrium.

As I conclude, know that you are not alone on this path to better health and wellness. Your journey is unique but together we form a community of strength and support.

Let’s thrive together,

Cristina x


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