Did you know chronic stress, including worry, increases premature aging? And, it increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety and obesity? Don’t let this happen to you – instead lets control your worry and rumination! Here’s how:
TRAIN YOUR BRAIN!!
MINDFULNESS—be in the here and now. Focus all your attention on the present. Do this by being aware of your breathing and external environment, but don’t hold on to any thoughts – especially negative thoughts. Let them come and pass right through you—like water traveling down a stream.
BREATHING— inhaling (taking breaths in) activates your sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This is your fight or flight system. Breathing into your chest increases your SNS. When this system is chronically activated it causes increased inflammation and oxidative stress that can lead to disease.
EXHALING – (breathing out) activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). This system is calming and has anti-inflammatory effects on your body and brain and helps decrease chronic stress.
PROPER BREATHING TECHNIQUE – learn to breath into your belly—not into your chest. Watch/feel your belly expand with each inhalation, not the shoulders lifting as will occur when you breath into your chest. When you exhale—make the breath going out take longer than the breath coming in. this, too, has a calming effect. Practice this technique until it becomes automatic. When you become anxious or upset, check how you are breathing and practice this technique. You will feel the anxiety decrease, the heart rate decrease, the pounding heart settle down.
Practice both Mindfulness and Breathing Exercises daily—multiple times a day. This daily practice will retrain your brain to stay calmer, which ultimately will keep you healthier.