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Day 8 - Take a good, deep breath .....

Take a good, deep breath--------and then let it out. Feeling a little lighter?

Today you have received a set of cards with 6 breathing exercises, that can be popped into a pocket purse.

Mental health professional, Pilates & Yoga instructors, meditation teachers etc., recommend deep breathing because of all the ways it can benefit your mental health, not just your respiratory system.

Deep breathing can help with anxiety, depression, stress, sleep, focus and recovery from exercise or exertion.

It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the “rest and digest” system.  Deep breathing also activates the vagus nerve which controls mood, digestion, and heart rate.

Take a minute and check in with yourself before you start a deep breathing exercise to see how you feel, and then compare it with how you feel afterward.

If you find yourself feeling lightheaded after deep breathing, you may want to stop. The feeling should pass quickly. If you already have asthma or any other issues with breathing, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any deep breathing exercises.

There are many different ways to do deep breathing - in case you haven’t got the exercises, here a useful one to try:

4-7-8 Breathing

·         Take one, deep slow breath from your belly and count to four as you breathe in. 

·         At the top, hold your breath as you count to seven.

·         For eight counts, exhale through your mouth, emptying your lungs.

·         Repeat three to five times, or until you feel calmer.

If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t want to have to remember these techniques and likes to be led, there’s some apps that can help:

iBreathe - offers several pre-programmed exercises, an option to customize your own and the ability to send you reminders.

Breathe+ Simple Breath Trainer – this one syncs with your breathing so you can see beautiful visualizations that correspond with your breath.

Apple Watch Breathe - If you have an Apple Watch, you already have access to a built-in breathing app, literally called Breathe. The app will check in with you and prompt you to take a one-minute breathing break, guiding you when to inhale and when to exhale.

Don’t forget  ….. Keep Breathing!

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