It’s the first day of December today and ‘Hark Did I Hear Panic Sing?’
Well, maybe not just yet, but this being the busiest time of the year for most of us, I bet I’m not the only one who usually feel a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff there is to do...
So, how do you cope with the stress of urgent deadlines and last minute orders, and, as if running your business isn’t enough; finding the time for social lunches, family obligations and shopping for perfect gifts?
The answer is. Give yourself permission. To breathe.
To properly breathe. Most people use only a small part of their lung’s capacity and this shallow breathing deprives the body of oxygen which is essential for good health. You can’t breathe in the past. You can’t breathe in the future. If you undertand the importance of proper breathing you will use your breath as a way to stay grounded in the present.
You average about 25,000 breaths each day. The effects of inhalation and exhalation extend far beyond the physical exchange of air in and out of your body. It controls the workings of the heart and lungs, so by breathing properly your body’s energy production is working as it should and you will be able to cope with the extra stress that this month brings on.
Intentional breathing is a fantastic stress buster. The next time you’re feeling more frazzled than festive, close your eyes and consciously take three or four really deep breaths with equally deep exhalations and notice how much tension you release.
To go deeper into it, you can cover one of your nostrils, inhale whilst counting to five, hold your breath and then breathe out whilst counting to five, another pause of breath, swap side of nostril and repeat. This is a simple version of Pranayama breathing that I learnt from doing yoga and you should feel both energised and relaxed after doing this exercise for a few minutes. There are several apps available to guide you through this if you are interested.
Your breathing controls how you feel, think and react. It controls how you move and how you speak. Correct breathing is also a great way to detoxify the body. Perhaps this last fact might be the reason you’d like to have a go at it, now that we have fully started the ‘silly season’?