December Challenge: Manage Your Stress

December’s challenge is all about handling stressors, and we’re going to focus on simple breathing techniques for the first two weeks and throw in some meditation that will take you to the end of 2022.

Breathwork is a very simple yet very powerful tool to stop or reverse physical manifestations of stress in addition to calming down and helping to reduce the emotional turbulence you may be experiencing.

The beauty is, you can practice breathwork to bring down your stress level in line at Macy’s, sitting in traffic, or before heading into a meeting with your boss. I would advise, however, to practice a few times to get the gist of the technique.

It’s some seriously powerful stuff. And it’s as easy as 4, 7, 8.

The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

  • Sit in a comfortable position (on a chair, on the bed, on the floor)
  • Close your eyes or let your gaze be soft
  • Breathe in through the nose for 4 counts
  • Hold your breath for 7 counts
  • Exhale through your mouth for 8 counts
  • Repeat for 1 minute

Your goal for the next week should be to do this a few times a day – preferably when you’re facing any stress – you’ll quickly start to feel yourself “dropping in” to a calmer state of mind after just a few breaths.

Pro Tips:

  1. Holding your breath for a 7-count and that long 8-count exhalation may take some getting used to. Be patient with yourself.
  2. Set a timer, so you don’t have to look at your clock.
  3. Allow your body to release stress, anxiety, or tension. Don’t hold onto it.
  4. You don’t have to do anything but count. Just focus on that.
  5. If you have a Fitbit, check out the Relax app. It helps to sync your breathing, and all you have to do is sit there.

Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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