Allow me to make a big deal about this! Numerous neck and shoulder tensions can be lessoned from simply using our breath in the correct manner. If you are frequent to head aches, neck stiffness, jaw tightness, sore shoulders, or if you catch yourself ‘sighing’ throughout the day, chances are, you might need to focus on breathing deeper. If you ever feel caught-up in situations that have you flustered or if you feel like other people are often ruining your day, be it random strangers, other drivers on the road or office workers, breathing in the correct manner can make a positive impact in decreasing this stress.
To talk you through it briefly: First, the goal is to breath deep, using the diaphragm muscle, this means the tummy will be first to rise and the chest will follow.
- Sit or lay down in a quite area (you’ll need about 5 min)
- Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth, allowing your jaw to relax (making sure your teeth are not clenched)
- Breath IN through the nose to the count of six, making sure the tummy is the first to fill.
- Hold your breath for the count of six and exhale OUT the nose, to the count of six.
Try to do this ten times or so. You might feel dizzy if you are trying this for the first time.
Breathing in this manner will get you into your parasympathetic system or: Rest and Digest mode. When our bodies start to adjust to this nervous system, tensions seem to melt away. If you like, you may also add visuals to go along with the breathing. I enjoy using colors. First I think of the color red and while I inhale, I imagine red filling my body, limbs, organs, etc. Hold and exhale. Then I use orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white. Feel free to use which ever color order you wish; there are times when I breath in the color green for four rounds before moving on. If you have tension in a particular area, breath a color into there.
This technique is what I call my, “Reset Button.” With a household of boys, animals and daily life giving me a boxing training circuit, having a breathing technique, like this, to help me calm down and feel stable, has really kept me in good spirits and keeps my shoulders down from my ears! There are many deep breathing methods as well as breathing exercises to take advantage of. I really hope you think about making a breath in the right direction!