Brain + relationships + mind. My current deep dive.
I'm doing the 365 Day Meditation Challenge with the Insight Timer ommunity and I couldn't be more excited -- and calm. Ha! I'm determined to help kids and adults, including myself, exercise control of their mind/body so they can relax, feel happy, and learn. I believe mindfulness and meditation (flow states) can play a key role. I blogged about it here.
I hear consistently that the key to mindfulness is breathing
"Focus on your breath," they say. Why is your breath such a big deal? How do I breathe right, anyway? Dr.
Emma Seppälä published an article about breathing that I found quite oxygenating. The article is called An Incredible Alternative to Mindfulness You've Never heard of.
Active Breathing and the.....Exhale
Per Dr. Seppälä, active and deep breathing activate the relaxation state in your nervous system, versus the fight or flight state triggered by stress and trauma. Intentional deep breathing is a free and natural way to relax. This is a win-win.
My immediate takeaway from the article was this: Exhale longer than you inhale. When you breathe in your heart rate speeds up. When you breathe out your heart rate slows down. If you breathe in and then make your exhale longer, you spend more time 'slowing down,' thus calming your nervous system. I suggest checking out the entire article for yourself. I really enjoyed and learned from her book, The Happiness Track.
The Simple 4-7-8 Breathing Technique (with a longer exhale!)
I love the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It relaxes me after a couple of repetitions. It's easy to remember and I can practice it anywhere. If you teach your students this technique, they can practice it themselves whenever they need to relax, focus, or de-stress, whether at school or at home.
Dr. Andrew Weil explains how to do the 4-7-8 breathing technique .He is passionate about it. Read the article and be sure to hear him speak at the end of the video.
Breathe In -- count of 4 (through the nose)
Hold --count of 7
Breathe Out -- count of 8 (through the mouth)
(Repeat cycle 3 more times.)
At the end of the Dr. Weil expresses with emphasis the power this active breathing technique holds for both the body and mind.
4-7-8 breathing is a...
"...very powerful anti-anxiety measure, in fact much more powerful than the anti-anxiety drugs that are commonly prescribed. Takes no time and needs no equipment; very time and cost effective."