It’s Monday, the start of a new week and a new beginning. Life can be stressful sometimes, it certainly was for me last week. When stressful things happen, I always tend to reach for my crutch – sugar. Because I’m trying to give up this bad habit, I needed to have something else to help me cope. While yoga and meditation are great for relieving stress and anxiety, I needed something I could do on the go, wherever I was. What I discovered helped me enormously last week and it’s called circle breathing.
Circle breathing when done correctly is a simple, quick and effective way to relieve stress in a hurry. You can do it anywhere and at any time. Whenever you’re feeling anxious or stressed out, a round of circle breathing should help to focus your mind and calm you right down. This practice can also help to prevent glucose spikes when performed after meals – another bonus. Here’s how to do it:
- Inhale and stretch your arms over your head. Exhale and lower your arms back down to your sides. Relax and keep your arms lowered for the rest of the exercise.
- Now imagine your inhaling a stream of peaceful energy into a spot about a few inches below your navel.
- Continue inhaling, imagining the energy travelling to the base of your spine, then imagine it travelling up your back to the top of your head.
- Exhale, and mentally follow that breath back down the front of your body to the point below your navel where you’ll begin the next inhale. Your breath has now made a full circle – up the back of your body, down the front and back to the starting place below your navel.
I try to do between five and ten circle breaths to help when I’m stressed. I also like performing step 1 on repeat for five or six times before and after my workouts. The simple act of inhaling and exhaling calms your mind and helps it focus on the task ahead.
I also wanted to share with you a healthy snack recipe I found last week. I had this on the weekend when my family and I were watching a movie and it really helped the cravings:
In a pot with a lid, air-pop 10g of popcorn kernels according to the packet instructions. Once they’ve all popped, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of pumpkin or sunflower seeds, 1 teaspoon of unsweetened coconut and a dash of ground cinnamon. Or you can simply air-pop and eat.
The above serves one person, is ready in about ten minutes and is so yummy when you’re struggling with sweet cravings – you’ll think you’re in the cinema!
Enjoy and have a great week.