Long term stress causes:
- Dramatic Signs of Aging (Think of the presidents they go in young and come out grey.)
- Heart Disease/High Blood Pressure
- Weight Gain From Hormonal Imbalances & Fluctuations
- Depression & Mood Disorders
- Chronic Pain & Illness
- Lethargy & Inability to Function
There is a very simple technique that you can get in the habit of doing right now to reverse this chemical process and is directly related to the Polyvagal Relaxation Response and Chapman's Neuro-lymphatic System of points.
What is this miracle technique to help reverse chemical stress that automatically happens in our bodies? Diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing leads to increased oxygenation of the blood as well as chemical release that counters cortisol release which leads to the above conditions. Here's how you do it:
- Place one hand on the chest and the other on the abdomen.
- Inhale into your noise and exhale through your mouth.
- Bypass breathing into your chest, breathe in a very relaxed manner straight into your belly making sure your hand on your belly is rising.
- Make sure the hand on your chest is not rising.
- Ask yourself how you can make your breathing gentler and easier in your body. This engages the relaxation response and relaxation chemicals are released in your body.
- Breathe deeply, but gently and easily in long breaths. Do not force your breathing at all.
- Continue to ask how you can make your breathing easier and your belly softer as you breathe into it.
- Breathe for 20 breaths in this manner.
- Every day multiply this number by 2. On the second day take 40 breaths in the same manner until you are doing this about 5 minutes a day at each meal.
- Do this exercise any time you feel stressed out, anxious, or panicked as well as right before meals so it will become an everyday exercise that helps you in your life.
Diaphragmatic breathing leads to increased DHEA release in the body which combats those stress hormones that are released on a daily basis. This in turn leads to a happier, healthier life.
This exercise is one which I give frequently to people with PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety/panic disorder that triggers automatic chemical responses in the body. It is not a cure all, but it is a beginning to finding balance in the body and a way to combat stress chemicals that wreak havoc in our system.
Until next time.