Ever had ‘one of those days’? Felt like there was too much to do, not enough of you and no end in site of the things to get done?
When we are under stress, we automatically hold our breath or begin to breathe in a shallow manner. It is part of our body’s way of getting ready to handle the ‘threat’. That is how God made us to handle fight or flight when we encountered danger.
That shallow breathing can cause our bodies to stay in ‘stress’ mode 24/7, which impacts all of our stress hormones (including cortisol which impacts weight), exhausts our brain (it runs out of fuel) and sets the stage for inflammation, which is at the root of all chronic disease.
It’s easy to see that we do this under stress, but did you know it is also happens every time we text or use our computer? The position of our neck, (hunched over, shoulders caved in) stimulates that same response. Our lack of awareness doesn’t keep it from happening, nor does it keep us from the consequences.
Good News to this No-so-Good News: It is truly easy to change this situation with 3 Simple Steps!
Step #1 Just 4-2-4- It!
That is a simple code for breathing in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2 and exhale for a count of 4. That is a mere 10 seconds and when done six times (60 seconds), you can actually feel your body relax and shift into calm and out of stress! Be sure to sit/stand up straight – shoulders back and relaxed – head pulled up tall!
Deep, relaxed breathing has been shown scientifically and clinically to help reduce stress and shift you out of the part of your brain that you access when challenged. This is a great technique to use before texting, emailing or being on the computer. It is great to do when driving or when you feel yourself in ‘high react’ times. Only sixty seconds and you can shift!
Go one step further and set an alarm on your watch or your phone for every 60 minutes as a reminder to take a ‘breathing break’!
Step #2 Take an R&R Vacation
Sometimes ‘life’ doesn’t allow for a ‘vacation’ in the traditional sense. But we can give our body a break right where we are. Fifteen minutes in the R&R position is equivalent to the rest of four hours of sleep!
Click here: www.CherylTownsley.com for more details on this simple and restorative pose. Do your 4-2-4 breathing and you double the benefits!
Step #3 Savor a Treat!
When we are stressed our brains demand more air (breathing), water and good fats. You know how to breathe. We can carry our water bottle and get our water. Instead of going to a carb or sugar (which doesn’t help our stress issue), consider a good-fat treat that will actually help you! Good fats (grass-fed butter, avocadoes, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats, wild fish, etc.) are excellent fuel for every part of our body AND they can help with weight loss (a topic for another time).
This is one of my favorite treats from my new cookbook Cooking for Life (click to order). It is easy to make in your food processor and can be eaten cold, at room temperature or even frozen.
Enjoy this treat, breathe, and put your feet up and know your outlook can change in just a minute!
So good, so easy and full of good fats – good for you!
1/3 c. sweetener (brown sugar, coconut sugar, xylitol, or your choice)
1/3 c. baking cocoa (not hot chocolate mix)
¼ c. of “yo” cheese or soft goat cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
- Blend avocados in food processor until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients. Adjust sweetener to taste.
NOTE: to make ‘yo’ cheese, drain grass-fed (or goat or sheep) yogurt for at least an hour (or overnight in the refrigerator with a bowl under the strainer).
Cheryl Townsley coaches women to have real breakthroughs in a real life, especially in the areas of weight loss, inflammation and lifestyle habits. As always, she helps the process be easy and practical!
To find out more on Cooking for Life, click
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