Ready. Set. Breathe. Deep.
Since the onset of the pandemic, I have experienced a resurgence of anxiety that I had worked many years to keep under control through various lifestyle changes and wellness practices. I’ve had to seek support from other healers to manage this new, and deep layered stress. My good friend and fellow wellness coach Kristen Kurtz has been instrumental in helping me cope through my anxiety. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and other health challenges herself, Kristen has developed a number of grounding practices to help her regain a sense of calm. One of those practices is Breath Exercises (along with yoga and meditation – which she also has really helped me to maintain throughout 2020). I love this breathing exercise she recommends to get grounded and to work yourself out of a high stress mode.
5-5-7 Breathe Exercise by Kristen
In the 5-5-7 breath, you will inhale for five seconds, hold for five seconds and exhale for seven seconds, so the exhale is a little bit longer than the inhale. This is two minutes to relaxation. You can do this anywhere, anytime, and according to Kristen “I love it because it’s free.”
Breathing before and during meals is a great way to help you become a relaxed eater and boost your metabolic power. This simple exercise is also great if you suffer from anxiety. You can do this in your car, at work, before bed, or anytime you are feeling anxious or desire a state of calm.It’s very exhausting to be in that stressed state all the time. You’re using up a lot of energy. This breathing exercise is scientifically proven to bring about your body’s parasympathetic nervous system response. This response is one of rest, relaxation and restoration. Try it and notice what the experience is like for you.
- Sit comfortably with your spine straight, feet flat on the floor. Eyes can be open or closed.
- Inhale through the nose for one, two, three, four, five—filling your lungs to two-thirds capacity.
- Hold for five, four, three, two, one and exhale for seven, six, five, four, three, two, one— exhaling it all out through the nose and slowly drawing in through the nose.
- Inhale one, two, three, four, five. Hold for five…and exhale for seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
- And as you continue this conscious steady rhythm of breathe scan the senses.
- Inhaling again for five—notice the scent of the air in your nose, the red and oranges on your eyelids if they’re closed, your taste buds, the feeling of your body sitting in the chair.
- Keep breathing and scanning, tuning into a heightened awareness.
- Repeat that ten times and then check in to see how you are feeling.
Even when there’s chaos going on throughout your day, pay attention to who you are being. Can you relax into the chaos? Some people say, ‘If I’m relaxed, I won’t get as much done.’ Relaxing isn’t necessarily about non-doing. It’s about who you are being. Practice using conscious breath throughout the day and working in the rhythm of relaxation, so it’s still productivity but in the rhythm of relaxation. You’ll find that you are more focused, more productive and more energized.
Learn more about Kristen at www.KristenKurtzCoaching.com
Happy Deep Breathing!