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The world is experiencing something right now that we’ve never experienced before. We’re all navigating through unchartered waters and this can mean that we’re now functioning in what’s called “fight or flight response”. This means that all of the blood rushes away from our brain and goes towards our extremities so that we’re ready to either ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ (run).
In caveman days this may have been because we were being chased by a tiger so it was essential for our survival, but in our lives today, when we get ourselves into these high levels of stress, it’s because our circumstances are causing us to overthink and worry. This causes shortness of breath and the inability to make clear decisions. It also lowers our immune system, which is not what we need right now when we’re trying to keep our bodies healthy and in a position to fight off a virus if we have to.
Here is a breathing exercise to practice any time that you remember throughout the day. It only takes a few minutes so perhaps set a reminder in your phone a few times a day or practice it before you get up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night.
One of the most effective ways to reduce our stress and bring us back into the best state to make clear decisions from is to manage our breathing.