As a collective consciousness, we all experienced the depth of flight, fright, freeze especially for the past two years. It’s been a rollercoaster ride. It’s time to breathe, heal and reset!
During my chat with my good friend and healer Angel Marie, we chatted openly about the sacred journey of healing and how breathing in particular, was at the core of our body, mind and soul evolution.
It is my honor to be sharing with you some practical tools and techniques that Angel-Marie has intentionally gathered here for us so we can be more responding and less reactive in our lives.
The most basic function we rely on to stay alive is also the easiest way to reverse a low-frequency mood, to interrupt the victim mentality spiral, or to just reset our blood pressure and heart rate. Healing expert, speaker, and bestselling author Angel Marie Monachelli spoke with me on my social show Rendezvous with Juju (and even offered a tutorial) on how diaphragmatic breathing -aka- belly breathing, carries health benefits many of us are missing out on.
“This type of breathing is good for the heart, good for the mind, and good for the gut. We’re strengthening our diaphragm, engaging our core muscles, slowing down that heart and breathing rate, reducing our oxygen demand, and overall, what we start to feel is all over relaxation. The tenseness in our face and shoulders will melt, our tongue will drop from the roof of our mouth, where we’re most likely forcing it because we are so tense. All of these changes that are taking place physically, mirror the inner relaxation that’s happening as well, with our core, our muscles, our emotions, and our mind.” -Angel
The Habits That Heal Us
Just like allowing anger or frustration to bring long-term stress into our days and lives can harm us, incorporating healthy habits can heal us. Cortisol, the stress hormone released into our bodies, controls mood, motivation, even fear – and the negative effects of prolonged high levels of cortisol wreak havoc on the daily functions that keep your body regulated and healthy. A 2017 study found that breathing practices, much like the diaphragmatic breathing Angel recommended, affects stress, anxiety, symptoms of PTSD, attention span, fatigue, sleep cycles, metabolism, and immunity.
In many eastern traditional cultures like yoga, we see breathing incorporated as a way to achieve balance in life – and within your body – practices that have been around for thousands of years.
How To Try This On Your Own
Now that we’ve heard from an expert, and covered the incredible benefits of learning to “just breathe” through life – consciously – let’s talk about how easy it is to incorporate this practice into your daily routine. I like to start simple, because this is how I know for sure that I will follow through. So let’s break this down into 4 easy steps.
- Place one hand on your heart and just say thank you. Thank you for life, thank you for this breath, thank you for this day.
- Place your other hand on your stomach, just beneath your rib cage but above your diaphragm.
- To inhale, slowly breathe in through the nose, drawing the breath down toward the stomach. Your stomach should push upward against your hand, while your chest remains still.
- To exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles and let your stomach fall downward while exhaling through pursed lips, keeping your chest still. Repeat for 5-minutes.
As a final observation
As much as we would like to imagine that life will someday be free of stress, the truth is that we cannot control every variable of what is happening around us. And sometimes that stress is helpful. It lets us know that we are in a situation we don’t want to be in or alerts us but the goal should be to move through the stress without it lingering, spoiling our day(s) and taking over.
So the easier option, that makes much more sense, is learning how to reset yourself – instead of trying to control or change the world. Remember, when the world around you is in chaos, you don’t have to participate. Step back, place your hands on your heart, breathe here and now, and know that you are in control of your health. Be the master of your destiny. Be the eye of the storm- Namaste