Your breath is one of the most powerful healing resources that you have readily available to you. A classic symptom of anxiety is a pattern of short, shallow and irregular upper chest breathing. When you breathe with your upper chest you release cortisol. On the other hand, deep, slow and rhythmic whole-body breathing patterns involve all your body’s breathing muscles, not just those in your chest. Whole body breathing helps you to feel relaxed and in control of your experience.
Here are some benefits of whole body breathing
Reduces anxiety and fear
Increases your relaxation response
Supports your immune system
Releases healing hormones into your system
Whole body breathing produces serotonin, your feel good hormones.
Here’s a short breathsensing, whole body meditation you can try. This practise is called 10 breaths
With your eyes open or closed, lying or sitting, adjust your body so that you feel completely supported by the surface on which you’re resting …. allow your sense to open …. welcome sounds …. sensations ….. the touch of air on your skin ….Notice the feeling of letting go into the sense of being at ease throughout your entire body and mind ……
Bring attention to sensations in your jaw …. mouth ….. eyes …. forehead … neck …. shoulders …. arms …. palms …. chest …. belly ….. upper and lower back …. hips ….. legs …. feet….
Bring attention to the sensation of your body breathing …. just noting … just feeling …. without going into thinking … Notice your body breathing … the sensation and feeling of each inhalation and exhalation …. as it comes and goes …..
As your body breathes in …. note your belly, midsection and chest expanding …. while feeling yourself settling, relaxing and letting go ….
As your body breathes out …. note your chest, midsection and belly releasing ….. while feeling yourself settling, relaxing and letting go …..
Breath counting …. Continue sensing your belly expanding and releasing with each breath ….. start counting your breath like this ….. inhaling, belly and chest expanding 1; exhaling belly and chest releasing 1 ….. inhaling belly and chest expanding 2, exhaling belly and chest releasing 2 …. Notice your body breathing, the sensation of the breath, and the movement of the belly and chest while counting from 1 to 10 …. present, awaked and aware of each count …..
After …. take a few moments to reflect on how you feel