29 Jan Stress (a little) Less and Help Your Immune System Work Its Magic
The ever-changing global situation with this virus has most people incredibly stressed, and rightfully so! Constant news updates across all our devices and the uncertainty of not knowing exactly what we should and should not be doing to stay safe and healthy is enough to stress anyone out. Feelings of anxiety, loss of control, and negative thinking all contribute to rising stress levels which, in turn, cause the exact thing we definitely do not need at a time like this – a decreased response of our immune systems.
So to help us all feel a little better and give our immune system the perfect environment to do its work, we put together a few short breathing exercises that you can do anytime you feel overwhelmed by the craziness.
● Nasal Breathing – With lips closed and teeth apart, inhale and exhale through your nose. Try stretching your exhale to double the length of your inhale. Notice the position of your tongue and try to lie it flat along the roof of your mouth. Repeat 5 times
● Breathe, Hum, Swallow – Inhale for 3 counts through your nose and exhale as long as you can. When you run out of air, hum for as long as possible and then swallow before taking your next breath. Try 3 to help stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system (the relaxation response).
● Silent Breathing – Put your fingers in your ears and slowly inhale and exhale trying to create a completely silent breath. Imagine you can widen your airways and create more space in your lungs. You may not know it, but the more silent your breath, the better your diaphragm is working. You may even notice the sensation of increased intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) which is the hallmark of core stabilization as we teach it in our office and studio.
Besides taking some time to check in with your breath, other ways to keep stress down are through continuing to move and exercise, eat healthy and decrease inflammation in your diet, and enjoy this quality time with your families!
We will continue to monitor the situation, keep you updated as necessary and be here to help you fully invest in your health. Should you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us at 856-767-8800.
-Dr. Eric Nelson, DC, DACBSP