If you are a really busy person then there are useful techniques for balancing out the effects of your busy life. For some of you, the symptoms might be tight shoulders or headaches. For others, anxiety, depression, autoimmune disease, and difficulty losing weight can also be symptoms.
Why do certain breathing techniques help with these problems?
You may have heard me talk about the autonomic nervous system which is made up of 2 parts:
- Sympathetic (fight/flight/freeze), and
- Parasympathetic (rest/digest/reproduce).
Most of the time when we are really busy and/or stressed we activate our sympathetic nervous system which, when activated on a regular basis, can cause our health to decline. It’s usually so subtle and slow that we don’t even notice it’s happening, and then one day when we don’t feel ‘well’ any more, we blame our genes and our age. By using certain breathing techniques you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system and combat the effects of stress and busyness. [source]
How can this help me lose weight?
When your body is producing stress hormones on a regular basis, such as cortisol in large doses over long a long time, this will cause you to store fat. Usually around the belly and the thighs! So activating your parasympathetic nervous system and relaxing your body will lower these stress hormones making it easier to lose weight. On top of this what most people don’t know is that when fat gets broken down, it gets broken down into water (16%) and carbon dioxide (84%). So when you exercise most of the fat that’s getting broken down leaves your body through your mouth! [source]
How to breathe
Here’s a simple breathing exercise to practice daily. Simply breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold that for 7 seconds, and then breathe out through your mouth for 8 seconds. It’s the 4-7-8 technique.
If you want to do it with me watch this video here:
When to do the breathing exercise
Do the breathing exercise at least once a day; it’s even better if you can do it 2-3 times a day. I suggest you do it before you eat. If you take just 1-2 minutes before a meal it can make a big difference to your health (and help you digest that food better!). You can also use it if you are in a stressful situation or environment.