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Soothe Yourself With 4-Step Breathing

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to share a breathing technique that will help you soothe stress and anxiety and calm your nervous system. So why would we need to calm our nervous system at all? Well, for many of us, daily life is very demanding, busy ,stressful. And so what tends to happen is we get stuck with our nervous system kind of caught in fight or flight mode. And fight or flight mode is the same system that turns on in an animal if it's running from a predator in the wild.

It's a stress response. So the heart is beating faster, breathing speeds up and become shallow, blood pumps out to our extremities so that we can get ready to run or fight. Vision narrows and stress hormones get released into the body like adrenaline and cortisol. In this mode, we're also very reactive and the mind tends to really race, but we can't think all that clearly and objectively. So when we get stuck in this mode of being, it really takes its toll.

So we might get to the end of the day feeling pretty edgy and bleary-eyed we've probably all been there, right? And we may have ways of taking the edge off at the end of the day, maybe a glass of wine, or we zone out in front of the TV. But although these strategies might be relieving in the moment, they don't actually help us reset our nervous system so that we can effectively let go of stress and recover. But the impact of this ongoing stress over time can be quite detrimental to our long-term health. When we don't reset our nervous system remaining in fight or flight, it disturbs our sleep and our ability to think clearly and relax. And it's actually just really unpleasant to live in that kind of wired, but tired state all the time.

So to effectively ease our stress response, we need to activate the body's natural relaxation response. And breathing deeply with a slow, steady, even inhale to exhale ratio, stimulates our nervous system to switch gears into the relaxation response. It calms the body down and that in turn tends to calm the mind down too, and then the stress response switches off. So in this way, deep, slow, even breathing helps us ease, anxiety, fear, and stress, and helps us relax. As our heartbeat decreases, our breathing slows, our racing mind starts to settle and a lot of that inner turmoil just relaxes.

So in today's meditation, I'm going to guide you through a really simple breathing practice called the 'force that breath.' And then once you learn it after today's meditation, you can use it any time you want to soothe your body's stress response. So this is wonderful to use at the end of the day when you want to unwind or any time you're feeling stressed or anxious, or you just want to settle yourself in before a good night's sleep. So I invite you to begin to settle in now for today's practice. And as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Soothe Yourself With 4-Step Breathing

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to share a breathing technique that will help you soothe stress and anxiety and calm your nervous system. So why would we need to calm our nervous system at all? Well, for many of us, daily life is very demanding, busy ,stressful. And so what tends to happen is we get stuck with our nervous system kind of caught in fight or flight mode. And fight or flight mode is the same system that turns on in an animal if it's running from a predator in the wild.

It's a stress response. So the heart is beating faster, breathing speeds up and become shallow, blood pumps out to our extremities so that we can get ready to run or fight. Vision narrows and stress hormones get released into the body like adrenaline and cortisol. In this mode, we're also very reactive and the mind tends to really race, but we can't think all that clearly and objectively. So when we get stuck in this mode of being, it really takes its toll.

So we might get to the end of the day feeling pretty edgy and bleary-eyed we've probably all been there, right? And we may have ways of taking the edge off at the end of the day, maybe a glass of wine, or we zone out in front of the TV. But although these strategies might be relieving in the moment, they don't actually help us reset our nervous system so that we can effectively let go of stress and recover. But the impact of this ongoing stress over time can be quite detrimental to our long-term health. When we don't reset our nervous system remaining in fight or flight, it disturbs our sleep and our ability to think clearly and relax. And it's actually just really unpleasant to live in that kind of wired, but tired state all the time.

So to effectively ease our stress response, we need to activate the body's natural relaxation response. And breathing deeply with a slow, steady, even inhale to exhale ratio, stimulates our nervous system to switch gears into the relaxation response. It calms the body down and that in turn tends to calm the mind down too, and then the stress response switches off. So in this way, deep, slow, even breathing helps us ease, anxiety, fear, and stress, and helps us relax. As our heartbeat decreases, our breathing slows, our racing mind starts to settle and a lot of that inner turmoil just relaxes.

So in today's meditation, I'm going to guide you through a really simple breathing practice called the 'force that breath.' And then once you learn it after today's meditation, you can use it any time you want to soothe your body's stress response. So this is wonderful to use at the end of the day when you want to unwind or any time you're feeling stressed or anxious, or you just want to settle yourself in before a good night's sleep. So I invite you to begin to settle in now for today's practice. And as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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