Life happens so fast and it could even get chaotic. We start our day easy but by the middle of it we are battling with headaches, migraines, muscle pain, emotional exhaustion, depleted energy, stress, irritability, frustration, mental fatigue and physical weariness as we try to figure out this thing and that thing. It almost feels like we are amateur jugglers trying to keep all our balls up in the air, except for us, these aren’t just balls but real issues that require our very limited yet divided attention. And because we know what lies ahead of us, we drug ourselves up with an early cup of coffee and then another just to get by the day.
One could get anxious: sweat excessively, elevated heart rate, pounding heart, feeling worried, unable to catch your breath, tightening of the chest, restlessness, poor concentration, temperature rise, tremors and experiencing an uncomfortable feeling.
In order to avoid or significantly minimize these experiences, one can perform various tasks but today we shall focus on one: The breathing technique. This is not just the normal breathing in and out but a deeper kind of breathing that helps you relax. Good thing about this is that you can do it practically anywhere.
How to practice deep breathing:
- Place your hands on your belly.
- Breathe in through your nose to your belly, not your chest.
- Exhale through your mouth slowly as though you are passing air through a straw
Note– If you are breathing into your belly, your hands which are placed on it should be pushed outwards. Your chest should NOT be going up, just your belly moving outward as you inhale.
Tip-Breathe in through your nose into your belly for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds and exhale through your mouth for 3 seconds. Do this a number of times as you increase the time to 5 seconds.
Pro Tip– As you do this, identify how your body feels i.e. the different sensations that come with the inhales and exhales. This helps distract your mind from all the chaos around you or in your head and your body then naturally starts to relax.
Be intentional about the breathing during your day. Take some breaks in between your schedules to either go for a five minute walk, go to the cafeteria, the bathroom, sit outside or anywhere just to practice this. You can even do it in the matatu.
Yes life can be tasking but child, take a step back and remember to breathe!
By Magdaline Njambi
Chiromo Hospital Group