breathe well

Breathe Well to Beat Health’s Invisible Enemy

To breathe well is a life-giving force to beat one our health’s invisible enemies – STRESS! Everyday most of us encounter the same stressors, yet we do little about it because we have accepted it as part of daily living. They’re small frustrations that aren’t such a big deal, until they start to compound into a larger issue that affects our health.

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Recently, I finished reading The Healing Self : A Revolutionary New Plan to Supercharge Your Immunity and Stay Well for Life, by New York Times Bestselling Authors, Deepak Chopra, MD and Rudolph Tanzi, PhD.  It’s a powerful read particularly at a time when our health is greatly at stake due to the pandemic.  The Healing Self focuses on the merging of mind and body as one and consciously living from a whole-systems approach.

Stress as the Invisible Enemy in Plain Sight

In this book, a couple of chapters focused on the effects of stress and stress reduction. I learned that even small frustrations can affect us on a cellular level eventually leading to physical manifestations when the body can’t adapt to the stress. Some may experience digestive issues or headaches or being excessively tired. It can even trigger inflammation with worst case scenario leading to a systems breakdown with a person experiencing a stroke or a heart attack.

Looking back to a few years ago, this is something I experienced unknowingly. It was when I put myself in an uncomfortable position of doing Facebook Live interviews to share stories of health transformations. I also spent a lot of time building a website platform from which the name of Evoke Strong was created and have evolved to what it is today. In hindsight, I put a lot of pressure on myself that created disruptions in my body which resulted into physical sensations.

For a couple of months, I went through a number of testing – physical and neurological, however without a diagnosis.  Nothing in my test results pointed to anything alarming.  This was when I started to incorporate a meditation into my morning routine and found it grounding.  I also learned mindful strategies to pay closer attention to my emotions and practiced more self-compassion. And with much humility, I deeply leaned onto my faith and prayer. With time, these sensations subsided and began to feel normal again.

What you can DO and UNDO for Stress Reduction

The second part of The Healing Self is a 7-day action plan with each day focused on one theme. Stress Reduction is the theme on Tuesday with recommendations for one thing to DO or UNDO. The trick is only choosing one action. I would suggest continue doing the same action until it becomes a part of your routine.

Here are some of the DO recommendations:

  • Meditate
  • Mindful Breathing
  • Yoga Practice

And some of the UNDO recommendations:

  • Stop ignoring stressful events
  • Don’t add to a stressful situation
  • Turn irregular habits into a regular routine

Benefits of Stay-At-Home Order

One upside to staying at home for me is being able to turn an irregular habit of a yoga practice into a regular one. I’ve been wanting to incorporate yoga into my weekly routine with the goal of doing it at least three times/week. However, for the past few months before the quarantine I’ve only managed doing it once or twice.

Recently, I discovered Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and I just love her practice that I decided to commit to following her daily yoga practice this month. She has a monthly calendar available with this month’s theme dedicated to Nurture. Of course, all of her sessions are free and accessible on YouTube.

On another note, if you’ve been following me on Instagram @evokestrong, you may have noticed my daily Calm meditation quotes in stories. Calm has gifted me with five invites to share a free 30 day access with you! Interested in trying the Calm app?  Please let me know in the comments or via email (elaine@evokestrong.com).

What has helped you the most to reduce your stress?

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3 Comments

  1. This is a time where we are all experiencing so much more stress. You are right, it is also an opportunity to make some changes in a positive way

  2. To echo Deborah, this IS a stressful time for everyone. Some are handling it well, others not. It’s a very personal experience, and it’s hard to know what is right or wrong. I’m just trying to be respectful that everyone is going to have different life experiences that will impact their perception. I’ve been doing daily gratitude journaling (for Lent), and that has been an effective way to keep me focused on the good that is coming out of this situation.

    1. I agree – it is very stressful. Every one of us are going through it in a different way. I’ve been leaning on gratitude, prayer, and breathing during this time.

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