Welcome to the DW Healing Arts Be Well series of wellness tips for January 2016. Each day I will highlight a card from my Balance Resource Cards decks. The wellness resources will help you bring balance to your body, mind and spirit if used on a regular basis.
Take a moment right now, and practice today's wellness tip as you read this. Grab your journal, turn off your phone, find a quiet place without interruptions and set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes. This is time you are investing in yourself. You are worth it.
Give yourself permission to balance your life.
May you Be Well! Love, Deanna
Deep breathing switches your body's fight or flight stress response into a rest and digest relaxation response. Try the following 4 - 7 - 8 count cycle. Take a deep breath for a count of 4. Use your entire lung capacity by starting your breath from your abdominal area, up to the diaphragm, then expanding your ribs out as far as possible. Hold for a count of 7, then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat the process for several breath cycles. You may also try counting each breath backwards in cycles of 4 as another strategy for quieting your mind.
Slow breathing while smiling and moving your eyes activates different parts of the brain, promoting deep relaxation. Find a rectangle object in your line of vision. Look at the upper left corner. As your eyes move to the upper right corner, inhale for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4 as your eyes move to the lower right corner of the object. Exhale for a count of 4 as your eyes move to the lower left corner. Now hold your breath and smile while your eyes return to the upper left corner of the object. Repeat several times.
There are other breathing exercises you can find here. Try intentionally breathing every few hours during the day. Set a timer to remind you.
Take a few moments and breathe mindfully right now. What do you notice?