Pause & Take a Breath-er!
In the hustle and bustle of the work week there seems to be little time to slow down, take a breath, and enjoy a guilt-free break. It is important however, to schedule in those moments for yourself each day to recharge and REFRESH with benefits of improved focus, energy, and stress-management towards work and life.
An accessible way to do this is through an exercise of DEEP BREATHING. Taking the time to connect with and focus on your breath is one of your most powerful tools for self-healing and feeling relaxed and well. For that reason, you will recognize deep breathing as an integral part to many relaxation and mindfulness programs including yoga, tai chi, and meditation. In addition to the mental benefits, a full and deliberate inhale and exhale can allow for additional oxygen your body needs to be received which can help slow your heartbeat and stabilize your blood pressure. Often, states of stress and anxiety are coupled with shallow breaths in the upper chest; the key is to deliberately focus the breath towards the belly and diaphragm for ultimate calming and benefit.
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
- Place your hands on your belly.
- Take a deep breath through your nose and allow your breath to push your hand out.
- Exhale and feel your belly fall. Use you r hand to push all the air out.
- Do this 3-10 times. Take your time with each breath.
- Notice how you feel once you have completed this exercise.
The great thing with deep breathing is that it can b
e done almost anywhere and at any time when you have a chance or feel that you need a break to re-focus and rejuvenate.
For opportunities to practice, please visit the Wellness page on the UHN Intranet to view our REFRESH Program Schedule. We hope you will join us Tuesday & Thursdays at 2:30pm in the TGH Oasis Wellness Centre (1NU168)!
HealthLink BC. (2014). Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation. http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthtopics/content.asp?hwid=uz2255
Harvard Health Publications. (2015). Relaxation Techniques: Breath Control Helps Quell Errant Stress Response. The Family Health Guide. http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response