TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - You may not be an expert in many things but at least you know how to breathe correctly right?....Wrong. There's a good chance you're breathing in ways that inflate your stress and passing up opportunities to breathe in a way that will blow out a lot of the pressures that bother you.
Life is full of pressure.
You're stuck in a frustrating traffic jam.
If you're not, you may have just speeded right into a ticket.
There are the phone calls that just will...not...quit.
And maybe a tense meeting with your boss.
Musicians know how they breathe can make all the difference in how they perform. But most people don't appreciate their body will perform better at shrugging off stress if they breathe a better way.
"what we want to do to quiet is to slow our breath, deepen our breath, make it more regular and quieter."
Doctor Victoria Maizes is executive director of University of Arizona's Center for Integrative Medicine. Her practice at Banner UMC blends conventional and alternative medicine. She says anxiety about how we look, keeps proper breathing from reducing our anxiety.
“Both men and women have been told to suck in that gut and in some ways, this kind of relaxation breathing is exactly the opposite because what we're doing is, as we inhale, we really expand our belly. As we exhale, our belly falls back and deep. So we have to have a soft belly to do this kind of breathing."
Doctor Maizes says taking a moment to concentrate on your breathing will focus your thoughts in a way that can break the grip of what's troubling your mind.
She recommends breathing with one hand on your upper chest and one on your stomach. Your goal is to feel your chest rise very little and your stomach move in and out as you develop the habit of healthy breathing.
The other part of her technique she calls the 4-7-8 method. With your tongue held just behind your front teeth, inhale for four seconds, hold it it for seven, and exhale for eight seconds. Repeat a few times each day until it becomes your automatic response to stress.
Doctor Maizes says that method of taking control helps impose order and peace on your entire nervous system and your body as a whole.