Small changes make big differences.

Tuesdays with MOJO / Take a moment for a breath

breathe, stressMarjorie Spitz Rento2 Comments

Last night I had the pleasure of sharing my workshop with about a dozen friends.  All fabulous, successful, intelligent, beautiful and kind women (and Bob) who I greatly respect.

I presented the workshop with the goal of gaining feedback as I get ready to launch a corporate wellness program. 

The workshop centers around how small changes make big differences and the MOJO Makers™ that one can implement on a daily basis toward reaching a higher goal. I define a MOJO Maker™ as an inspirational, simple action that creates a “ripple effect”, starting one on a path toward achieving a higher goal, ultimately leading to vitality, healthfulness and happiness.  Together we went through some key MOJO Makers™.

In the beginning of the session, I had participants do a breathing exercise (MOJO Maker™ #1).

I’m a shallow breather -- hours will go by when I realize I haven’t taken a real full breath!  My chest will feel tight, my mind cloudy and body sluggish.  Even my jaw will feel tense.

See if you do the same thing.  Stop what you’re doing, place your hand on your chest and pay attention to your breathing.  Are you a shallow breather?

Now gently close your eyes and take a deeeeeeep breath.  No, really deep!  Fill up your lungs from the lower part of your belly to the upper part of your chest, through your back.  Hold it for a few seconds and then let it all out fully, until your belly button is drawn all the way in.  Now do it again, 3X. 

Slowly open your eyes.  How do you feel?

If you’re like me, probably energized.  Full.  Optimistic. Present.  Less stressed.   And that took all of about a minute right?!

After we did this exercise last night, there was a palpable difference in the energy in the room, in the looks on attendee’s faces, and within the position of their bodies.  It was significant!

The average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day.    So let’s take just a few of those and make them count!

By doing so, studies show that you will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and the vagus nerve, and thus help alleviate stress and anxiety, and feel more relaxed. In addition, deep breathing is shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, AND sparks brain growth.  

Cool stuff – just by breathing!

Imagine how you would feel if you did this exercise just once or twice a day.   Maybe in the shower when you’re getting ready for work.  In a taxi or on the subway.  Or in bed when you wake up or go to sleep. I find if I employ deep breathing as I go to sleep, I fall into a deeper, more restful sleep.

 I like Dr. Andrew Weil’s breathing exercise technique.  Try it and let me know how it goes.

Once you start practicing this technique regularly, deeper breathing and all the benefits that come with it will come naturally to you.

I look forward to hearing how you feel!

xoMarjorie

Chief MOJO Maker™