It's amazing: for your entire life you'll breathe regularly and automatically. You don't have to think about it. But you can still choose to control it, whenever you want. Learning to focus on your breathing is something called breathwork, and it's one of the "simple steps" we talk about in the MOBE Guided Self-Management Program. We believe in the power of simple steps to create big changes, and there's more than one reason to explore the healing power of breathwork in your life.
First of all, you don't have to take a special class, buy a book or attend a program to practice breathwork. In fact, all it really takes is a few minutes of calm, quiet, intentional focus on the rhythm and depth of your breathing.
You already have all the equipment you need to do breath work, whether you practice for just one minute or ten. Just close your eyes (in safe circumstances, of course), and breathe long, deep and slow.
Max Strom, a teacher of breath work for over 20 years, notes that breathwork helps calm the nervous system. It's so reliable, he cites, \"Navy SEALS use breathwork to help them focus and calm before they go into battle. Navy SEALS are not New Age cuddly people. Navy SEALS only use technologies that work, they will not use anything else.\" (More from Max at the end of this post.)
Breathing deeply oxygenates the blood, which in turn causes the brain to release endorphins. This is one of the body's natural ways to reduce stress and decrease pain. (See study details link at the end of this post.)
Picture it: your eyes are closed, your mind is still and your thoughts are focused on the air moving in and out of your lungs. You're intentionally putting aside the stresses and concerns about that project at work…. the comment you overheard in a conversation… the appointments you have to schedule next week. As a result, you're focused on nothing but the basics for a single minute or more. That kind of clarity can refresh and restore both mind and body.
If you've discovered a breath-work exercise that works for you, we'd love to hear about it. And if you're just getting started? All you need to know is this: breathe in, breathe out, repeat.
Want to know more? Check out these links:
(This nine-minute video incudes about 6 minutes of a directed breathing exercise)
Just imagining a stressful event or situation may make your heart beat faster, your palms sweat and your mind kick into high-alert mode. But what if that stress response isn’t always bad? What if it can actually be beneficial? And what if there is actually a difference between a good stressor and bad stressor? Researchers are finding that there is more to the story than you might expect from all the bad press about stress.
Medicine isn’t perfect. For every breakthrough that cures a disease (or makes it easier to live with one) there are many more treatments that only help a little. And there are many more that may have no effect or that may actually cause a particular person more harm than good. So, it’s important to approach any decision that affects your health, or the health of someone you love, with eyes wide open.
Ever wondered whether it’s better to see the glass as half empty or half full? There’s a growing body of research that has your answer...
Stories aren’t just for Oscar-winning movies or best-selling novels. They’ve been at the heart of human communication from the beginning. Before Snapchat, email, or snail mail, our survival depended on remembering the stories told around the community fire. And now, researchers are discovering that storytelling can be transformative for personal health.
There is no doubt that prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications can come with tons of confusing directions, warnings, disclaimers, and information on the paperwork. So, we’re digging into what some of these often-confusing terms or sections of a label mean. Because we believe, the more you know about your medications, the more you can make sure they are working for you.
The role of the supplement is just that – to supplement the levels of a nutrient already found in your body. Some supplements are more beneficial than others, and some are absorbed better than others. Today we’ll walk through what you need to know about supplements so that you can have an informed conversation with your doctor about whether or not they’re right for you.