Why is Breathing important?
Conscious Breathing, also known as, 'diaphragmatic breathing' or ‘deep breathing’ has been popular in Eastern practices for thousands of years, and more recently studies have shown the practice to have great benefits for us in a number of ways including effectively managing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, encouraging brain growth and even changing gene expression.
I often find my client’s that are experiencing the most discomfort both physically and mentally/emotionally, are more than likely experiencing sleep problems and poor habits related to relaxation. Being tired will often emphasise the symptoms that are present purely because the body is working overtime just to have the energy to get through the next task... hello coffee at 3pm!
Sleep can tell me a lot about what is going on with my clients. Here are a few questions to answer about your sleep:
Here are 6 quick tips that have assisted my clients in creating better sleep habits and feeling more relaxed and rested.
- Same Time, Different Night:?Your body (and hormones!) love routine. Routine = safety AND a restful sleep. Get to bed within 30minutes of the night before, and you will be within the 'melatonin window’ from the night before.
- Reduce Device Time: for at least 1-2hours before bed - blue light and backlit devices, especially when held within arms distance, can give your brain the message to stay awake and alert, therefore reducing amount of melatonin and making it more difficult to get some shut eye.
- Have a bath:? emerging yourself in a warm, relaxing bath, will help to calm your whole body. Relieving tension in muscles, soothing your nervous system and giving your brain signals to begin to calm and ready for a good sleep.
- Effective Management of Stress: finding the right fit for you is most important. The main thing you’re looking for is a feeling of slowing down and relaxation. Whether it be meditation, a yoga class, deep breathing exercises, a slow walk after work or journaling your thoughts and lists out on a page so empty your head, whatever works for you.
- Lamp Loving:?2-3hours before bed, turn off all bright overhead lights and switch to soft warm low lighting. This will aid the relaxation process and give your brain the signals that it is getting darker.
- No stimulants after 12pm: Ouch, our beloved coffee! Caffeine can stay in our system from 8 - 12 hours after consuming. This means that having a coffee after 12pm could mean that you are significantly effecting your ability to get a restful night’s sleep.
If you’re thirsty for more information on sleep, check out my article exploring ‘How Does Sleep Affect How We Feel?’.
Generally speaking, we tend to think of our minds and bodies as separate, and therefore functioning independent of each other. However, there is more to the story than that.
Most of us can relate to having an experience where we felt the effect of a thought or feeling in our body:
The kind of stress we so often hear about is the kind that makes your heart beat a little faster, gives you sweaty palms or makes your stomach flip. And, some say, stress leads to all kinds of illness and pain, structurally, biochemically and emotionally.
But is there a flip side to this kind of stress?
> Do you ever arrive somewhere, whether driving or on foot, and realise you were on auto-pilot the whole time?
> Do you get to the end of the day and wonder where the time went? Or maybe, for you, Friday seems to hit you in the face, and just as quickly it is Sunday night and the next week is about to start again?
Are you curious to explore the connection between your mind and body? Are you wondering what Kinesiology and Mind Body Medicine actually is?
Hi, I’m Prue and I’m a Mind Body Medicine Practitioner and Kinesiologist. If you are wondering what these modalities are, this post is for you.