Breathing for Stress Control
Breathing for Stress Control, stress is the killer in our Western society — all that thinking, going into overdrive, making deadlines. “They really are dead lines!”
Stress deregulates our system. You can tell if you are stressed by counting how many times you breathe in a minute. Try it now with a timer. If you’re breathing between fifteen to twenty times a minute, you are stressed.
Breathing for Stress Control, what I do for stress is one minute of humming and breathing to myself. This always works for me, it doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing.
Doing this taps into your parasympathetic nervous system — where the peace is inside — and calms down your hectic sympathetic nervous system. And it’s like a massage for your spine from within — all the way up to your brain stem and to the center of your head. It brings you directly inside your body.
- Set a timer for one minute.
- Settle yourself somewhere comfortable.
- Breathe in deeply.
- Breathe out with a sound like “Hum,” “Ah,” or “Om.” Make whatever sounds make you happy.
- When you run out of air, breathe in deeply and let it out with another “Hum.”
- Continue until the timer stops.
Just remain calm, keep breathing, and wait for the moment in which there is a sense of trust, of centered energy, of alignment.
Tell your body what you expect it to do, to relax and be calm. Scan yourself for how you feel. You will be able to detect any misalignment of your intention and your body’s feeling.
How many times did you breathe in a minute of humming? Maybe four, five, six times? Nice.
(From Wim Hof, The Wim Hof Method. Ebury Publishing)
You can also benefit from this technique, do it daily at the beginning of your day.