One of the many negative effects of stress is inflammation. Inflammation is something to be avoided as it causes us to have aches, joint pain, brain fog, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Fortunately, acupuncture can help because it is a great stress reducer!
While acupuncture can help, other actions can be taken in between treatments that I teach people to continue their stress-reducing journey. And in addition to research supporting their benefits, I personally can attest that they help. For example, owning a small business, having two young children, and dealing with the challenges presented by the pandemic, I experience my share of stress. Lately, I have been taking deep breaths––finally! I say finally because although I've long known that deep breathing is effective in reducing stress and its harmful effects, I haven't been conscientious in doing it. But lately, I have been working hard to make better choices for myself and added deep breathing exercises to my routines. And it has paid off.
My favorite deep breathing technique is as follows:
- Inhale to a count of 4.
- Hold your breath for a count of 4.
- Exhale to a count of 4.
- Again, hold your breath to a count of 4.
- Repeat this 4 times.
I find when I’m done doing this, I feel more centered and grounded, and if I don’t, I repeat it. It helps to calm my thoughts, reset the amygdala, and calm my body so I can choose to thoughtfully, respond and not emotionally react.
If you feel you will struggle with adding breathing or meditation techniques to your day, a great app to help you get started and build a routine is Insight Timer – it's a great resource to use for sleep, anxiety, and stress!
Give either a try and see the difference they can make for you.
The coronavirus won’t be around forever, but you can help ensure that our local businesses survive. Thank you in advance for your support.