CALM ~ staying centered amidst the storm
Day 17 of 30 Days of Adventure
Today, let's notice when we panic and use our breath to stay calm and mentally sharp.
When our adventure presents a challenge, it's most helpful to stay calm and think rationally.
So today, let's explore ways to notice when we are triggered into a fight-flight-freeze state and practice a simple breathing technique that will gently guide us back to our better senses.
Austrian neurologist, psychologist, and Holocaust survivor
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Noticing when the body-mind enters a state of panic creates this “power to choose our response” that will lead to our growth and our freedom.
Ways to notice the panic (and respond with a sigh):
😮💨 shortness of breath is linked to the body's fight or flight response as the body attempts to take in more oxygen and prepares to defend itself.
💓 the heartbeat quickens to prepare the body for action with more blood flow (resources).
😫 intensify feelings of panic, stress, and anxiety.
An inspired way to spaciously and healthfully respond to the challenges our adventures will surface is to breathe deeper and make our exhales longer than our inhales.
🤓 Big exhales release chemicals into the bloodstream that immediately helps us focus calmly on the task at hand.
💖 Deep breathing with longer exhalation engages the vagus nerve, increases heart rate variability, and improves decision-making.
🧠 Slowed and longer exhalations have beneficial effects on mental health and cognition in stress-related conditions and performance.
😌 Sighs (“ahhhhh”) are psychological and physiological resetters that reduce anxiety and tension.
The 4-6 Breathing Technique
Inhale to a count of four and exhale to a count of six.
For an added bonus, an audible sigh (“ahhhhh”) is a fun way to extend the exhale and additionally benefit from the slight vibration in your throat.
How about you?
What common situation do you notice yourself panic?
Naming this will help us notice when it happens and remember to connect with our breath in order to stay calm and focused.