September 9, 2010

Stressed out? Just Breathe….

Posted in Hypnosis, Hypnosis Training, Stress Management at 9:21 am by hypnosiscenterofva

We all know how stressful our lives are today. Multi-tasking has become the norm and I won’t even go into the shape of the economy and its effect on us all. But there’s one thing that we can do to help ourselves de-stress and that’s BREATHE. Now you may be thinking “I DO breathe!”, but in order to gain the de-stressing benefits of breathing, you must retrain yourself to breathe properly. 

Did you know that when we were babies we knew how to breathe properly? As a baby, we took a breath and the oxygen automatically flowed down into the lower part of the lungs. As we aged and began to experience stress, our breathing changed to a shallow chest breathing where the air/oxygen now only flows into the upper lobes of the lungs.  

Try taking a deep breath and notice what happens. For most people their shoulders move up, the top of the chest moves up and the stomach is pulled in.  

To breathe properly, just gently push your stomach and notice how you automatically bring air into your lungs. The reason for this is that when you push out your stomach, the diaphragm drops down and creates more space for the lungs to expand. Negative pressure in the chest is created and air automatically comes in and flows down to the lower lobes of the lungs. The two lower lobes of the lungs are important because they have more blood vessels; therefore more oxygen can get into the tissues and muscles allowing them to relax. More oxygen is carried by the red blood cells to the brain which helps us to think more clearly.  

Oxygen is relaxing and healing and allows for a major decrease in stress.  So by taking a deep breath this way at least once an hour, it changes the stress response. The best way to do this is to breathe in for four counts, hold the breath four counts and breathe out for eight counts and to do that hourly.  Some people may have different opinions on the number of counts but most agree that the important thing is to allow the oxygen to flow to the bottom lobes of the lungs for optimum benefit.  

So, there it is. A simple easy thing to do that will help you manage all of the stressors that come your way.

Hypnosis Center of Virginia is a hypnosis certification and training center located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We offer a Hypnosis Certification program that is accredited by the National Guild of Hypnotists and approved for continuing education credits for RNs and CRNAs.  For additional course details, visit our website at

Hypnosis Center of Virginia is affiliated with Healthy Visions. Healthy Visions is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Alabama State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).   Approved for 40 CE Credits Code # 5-133-101.Exp. July 31, 2011 

Approved by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 40 CE Credits Code # 32950 Expiration 6/25/2011



1 Comment »

  1. Johleen said,

    A colleague said to me recently that the effects (both physical and mental) of us not breathing correctly are similar to that of a slow suffocation.

    Certainly food for thought.

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