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Surefire Stress Relief: Breathing Through Your Heart

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Our research at HeartMath has shown that Heart-Focused Breathing© can help people quickly reduce stress – and in this day and age, that’s the only way most people are willing to try. This technique may be used in everyday stress, anger, anxiety and emotional overload or in times of acute crisis, where it’s especially helpful. It works because the exercise helps you change stress-producing attitudes and reset your stress set point. You are actually changing your heart rhythm pattern and calming your autonomic nervous system. By focusing on your heart, you’re taking energy away from the undesirable emotions. You generate a positive attitude or feeling which starts to shift the signal the heart sends the brain so the brain response is different. It changes your physiology to move into heart-brain coherence and alignment.

So if you find yourself feeling angry, mildly depressed, anxious or otherwise stressed, try this easy, free and quick technique for yourself to refuel your system:

Shift your attention to the area of your heart. Imagine your breath passing in and out through your heart area or the center of your chest as you slowlygraph inhale and exhale. Breathe in an attitude of calm and balance as if you were taking in an emotional tonic that takes off the rough edges. You can also try breathing in a feeling of gratitude or compassion – or whatever attitude you find most soothing. As you shift into the positive feeling, notice when you feel the release. You will likely feel genuine appreciation or compassion and the former uncomfortable physical sensations replaced by comforting, relaxed ones.

This exercise can be done in a quiet place or while walking, jogging, or – once you get familiar with it – even participating in a conversation.

I use this technique whenever I notice I am stressed to reboot my inner computer. Then I come back into balance and have more clarity about my next steps.

Read more: Biorhythms, Family, General Health, Health, Life, Men's Health, Mental Wellness, Nourishing the Heart, Spirit, Stress, Women's Health, , , , , , , , , ,

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Deborah, from HeartMath

Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., is President and CEO of the for-profit Quantum Intech Inc (dba HeartMath Inc.) Deborah has been deeply committed to awareness development and personal growth for 40 years. Deborah is co-author with Doc Childre of Transforming Anger, Transforming Stress, Transforming Anxiety, Transforming Depression and Stopping Emotional Eating.


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3:57PM PDT on Mar 16, 2014

I love it when the advice starts off with "Let go of whatever you've been thinking and doing".... That's the problem! That ol' race-car brain, going round and round....

11:55AM PDT on Jul 5, 2013


4:14AM PDT on May 23, 2013


4:05AM PDT on May 23, 2013

Thanks for sharing! Heartmath is so congruent with ancient meditation techniques :)

11:14PM PDT on May 13, 2013


6:58PM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Breathing is such a simple way to restore balance to our lives :)

2:59AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Interesting. Thank you for sharing Deborah.

7:25PM PST on Jan 25, 2013

oh wow, this actually i have been waiting for something like this. this is so simple and awesome thank you!

12:40AM PST on Dec 18, 2012

Thank you :)

10:16AM PST on Dec 3, 2012


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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