I am recently married. Today, my husband and I are at the doctor’s office for a procedure, and I notice a familiar sensation occurring. My muscles are slightly tensing, I feel my shoulders climbing up to my ears and I am holding my breath more than breathing. I know that if I change my physiology, I can change the biochemical reactions occurring in my body.
Where to begin? I like to start with the breath. Place one hand on the belly and one hand on the chest. Now breathe into the lower hand, see the abdomen move with each inhalation and exhalation. With each breath, I try and extend the exhalation. This increases the parasympathetic stimulation, leading to more relaxation. While staying present in the moment, my awareness of the breath helps to slow my breathing rate down.
Another area warranting attention is my thoughts. Can I just notice I am having thoughts and then let them go without having to analyze them? Letting the thoughts come and go without being attached is a wonderful way to let go of tension and just be present.
These simple practices ease the tension of stress on the body and mind. They can be accessed as simply as noticing the breath.
Dr Mealani Rahmer is a trained in biofeedback and practices out of Hilo HI.