Graduation time is here and seniors and parents have mixed feelings of excitement for the future and sadness for the childhood gone by. It is a time to celebrate, but like all big milestones in our lives, it can wreak havoc on our stress levels. Stopping to take some deep breaths during this time can relax the entire body and facilitate balance. When we are running on adrenaline or responding to outside stressors, we often hold our breath without even realizing it. As we hold our breath, we starve our core. Without breath, we can’t deliver oxygen to the lungs. We become tired, moody and ill. Now, I am going to teach you how to take a deep breath and I urge all seniors and parents to try this whenever you are feeling anxious in the next couple of days. It will completely calm your entire system and your body will thank you.
Lie on your back and focus on breathing in and out, deeply and slowly. If you breathe in for a count of four or five, try to slow your breath to lengthen that count to six or eight. You can breathe through your nose or your mouth; either is fine. Take in the same amount of air, but inhale more slowly. After a long in-breath, you may feel the need to exhale in a rush; after a good out-breath, you may need a quick inhale. Without judging yourself for your lack of breath, intendto expand the time it takes you to breathe, then the amount of breath you are bringing into your systems. Focus only on breathing and counting so that you will gradually increase the length of your breath.
Once you have mastered this deep breathing, breathe in slowly up to a count of 30, then quickly exhale and inhale before breathing out for a count of 30. As you repeat this a few times, you have exchanged the oxygen-deficient air deep in your lungs. If you can’t reach 30, that’s okay. The goal is to lengthen your breath and physically help your body relieve stress. Just breathe…..