A Simple Breathing Meditation to Calm Stress

Guest Post by Sarah Gyampoh

 

One morning I woke up, and my world was literally spinning in circles.  I had no clue what has happening, and I was terrified.  To make a long story short, I was transported to the ER by ambulance and diagnosed with vertigo.    

 

The diagnosis was a true wake up call for me.

 

As women and moms, we are beyond busy.  Always doing something, driving somewhere, making sure everything is in order and trying to take care of ourselves in the process. 

 

We go from task to task never having any time to just be.  The baby is crying and needs to be fed but the dog just pooped on the floor kind of a thing.  While these are tasks that need to be completed and they may make us feel stressed out, they are not at the level of running away from a hungry bear and unfortunately our body has no way of distinguishing between the two.  Great if you do actually need to escape a hungry bear, not so great if you aren’t truly in need of “crisis mode.”  We are living in a constant state of heightened awareness and stress without even realizing it sometimes and it can be detrimental to our well being.

 

Our nervous system goes into overdrive and we stay in fight or flight, unless we are able to create the awareness and do something about it.

 

SIGNS THAT YOU NEED MEDITATION:

* you feel on edge all the time

* everything seems to be getting to you

* your sleep is not restful

* you have digestive issues

* headaches seem to find you

* a million things are swirling through your mind and you are unable to have clear thoughts

 

The good news is that there is a simple way to take yourself out of fight or flight mode and into rest and digest mode and it takes only a few minutes and can be done anywhere! 

 

CONSCIOUS BREATH MEDITATION

Allow yourself some time alone, if possible, to do this exercise. Begin by taking notice of your natural breath. Just breathe and be. There is nothing to be done right now but to focus on your breath.

Sit, stand, or lie in a comfortable position and if you like place one hand on your abdomen and one on your chest. Begin to breathe only through your nose; inhaling through the nostrils and exhaling through the nostrils. Maybe you would like to count the length of each breath. Inhaling for a count of four and exhaling to a four count.

As you inhale, the bottom hand moves first then the top. As you exhale, your top hand moves then your bottom. Start lengthening and deepening your breaths. Be present with each breath and really feel how each inhale fills you up with ease and each exhale releases stress.

Think of something you would like to release from your life and something you would like to enhance. Maybe you want to release anger or fear; and maybe you’d like to enhance patience or peace. Enhance on the inhale, release on the exhale.

Continue to do this for as long as you’d like, at least a full three minutes.

 

That’s it! A simple, yet effective breathing meditation that will help you relieve stress in an instant, no matter where you are or what you're doing. 

 

I hope you will be able to put the practice to use and that it brings you some calm.

 

Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and she has completed two Yoga Teacher trainings.  One in hatha yoga, the other in prenatal yoga.  She is also a certified Yoga Birth Instructor.  She was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic.  She is the mother of four beautiful beings.

Sarah combines her social work skills, yogic philosophy, and nature’s wisdom to help mothers connect with their inner knowing and experience the majesty of motherhood.   She believes that there will always be a laundry pile waiting to be folded, and that life and motherhood are to be enjoyed, peaks and valleys and all.

You can find her at: www.maternalessence.com and www.facebook.com/sarahgyampoh.maternalessence