Can you sometimes feel your day getting the better of you? You can feel the stress levels start rise? You could be trying to get too much done, or you're work is starting to pile up. You may be struggling to conceive and it's really starting to get to you. Or you may be starting a fertility treatment.
These are all stressful situations that undoubtably activate the stress response in your body. The one where your adrenals start to secrete cortisol, which then mucks up your sex hormone production process. I recently shared the impact of stress on digestion (you can check that out here). But there is a way that you can stop the stress response in its tracks...
The shortcut to turn off stress and activate a physiologic relaxation response is conscious breathing.
When we are in a stressful state, if we consciously adopt the deep and rhythmic breathing pattern characteristic of the relaxed state we fool the Central Nervous System. The brain says something like, “Hey, I thought I was a nervous wreck but I’m breathing like a relaxed person, I must be relaxed!” The result is a shift from a state of low digestive activity to full digestive force.
At every meal or snack, any time food is about to pass across your lips ask yourself, “Am I about to eat under stress?” If the answer is yes, pause. Then take 10 long slow deep breaths.
The “5-5-7 Breath”
Let’s try it now. You’ll inhale for 5, hold for 5 and exhale for 7. So the exhale is a bit longer than the inhale.
Ok, sit in a comfortable position, spine straight, feet flat on the floor. Eyes can be opened or closed. Inhale for 1,2,3,4,5 filling your lungs to 2/3 capacity. Hold for 5… Exhale for 7,6,5,4,3,2,1… Repeat 10x.