This week has been super busy! Already on Monday, I felt my head spinning. I am home with the boys. I started working some days at Deloitte. I try to exercise regularly. The blog. House work! Aaargh…I cannot breathe! Fortunately, I have learned a trick!
The day started at 6pm with the boys. At 9 am, we went to BootCamp in Frognerparken. Home for some lunch at 11am. Then a blog post was to be published and I had some Deloitte work. Double feeding, double diaper change, double playing, double dressing. At 1 pm, we went to the Open local kindergarten. Then some sleep for my two precious ones. Dinner at 3pm. At 5pm, we were all stressed out. But I had to get out to buy some groceries. Okay, enough!!
As I got out, the crisp autumn air filled my lungs. I did something very funny the next ten minutes.
On Maui in October, I tried Gong yoga for the first time. We did a breathing exercise. I found very weird. We were breathing in through one nostril and out through the other. Then we repeated, back and forwards. I did not quite get it, looking at the other yogis, almost laughing.
Back to this Monday in Oslo. I was out on the street. I stopped and took a deep breath. Then, I remembered the strange breathing exercise. I walked slow. I repeated the nostril breathing. Seriously, it worked! I calmed down. When I came home 30 minutes later, my shoulders were down and I felt more relaxed.
Why does it work?
So in short, stress relief is right in front of your nose! “Nasal breathing (as opposed to mouth breathing) increases circulation, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, slows the breathing rate and improves overall lung volumes” Swift, Campbell, McKown 1988. Lancet 1, 73-75 (www.breathing.com)
This is what you do!
You are supposed to sit in a yoga position. I do not always do that and it works anyway.
- Close off the right nostril with your thumb
- Then you inhale slowly through the left nostril
- You pause for some seconds
- You switch, and close the left nostril with your ring finger
- You exhale slowly, through your right nostril
- You take a new pause for some seconds
- Then you inhale through your right nostril
- A new pause and then switch, and exhale through your left nostril
- Continue from step one.
The first time, you can repeat a minute or so. The next time, you increase. I know, this sounds very funny. But it works!
Someone said to me this week – I like what you write, but I cannot fit your advice into my busy daily life? My answer concerning this breathing exercise: Out walking, standing in the traffic jam, in your office, at the mens/ladies room.
What to win?
Breathing exercises can help you stay focused at work!
Breathing exercises can make you fall asleep faster!
Breathing exercises can calm panic attacks!
Have a great week!