As a caregiver, you are likely to find yourself in quite a few situations that cause stress for you. How you handle that stress can make a tremendous difference in that situation as well as future stressful events. Deep breathing practice is one way that you can help to calm your entire body, starting with your brain.
Focusing on Your Breathing Distracts Your Mind
Your brain can handle an awful lot at once. For instance, it keeps all of your internal systems working while you’re going about your day. But sometimes, your brain is too involved in what’s going on, such as it is when you’re overly stressed by a situation. By shifting your conscious focus to your breathing patterns, you give your brain something else to fixate on and that can help to calm it down.
Your Breath Becomes an Anchor for You
When you’re having a stressful time, you might feel as if you’re a bit like a boat being tossed around by wind and waves. That type of feeling is unnerving because you’re out of control and you can’t really function well. By focusing more often on your breathing, you learn that you have an anchor when things get that bad and you can always go back to that anchored feeling.
You Develop a Safer Space Mentally
Your deep breathing exercises take you to a place in which you start to feel safer. Your mind is distracted from the stressful events and you’ve got an anchored spot in which to rest for a moment. This creates a safe mental harbor in which you can retreat when you just need a moment. As you continue to work through your deep breathing patterns, you’ll find that it’s easier and easier to get to this spot when you need it.
Practice Deep Breathing Regularly
Even when you’re not feeling stressed, deep breathing is there for you. Take just a few minutes each day to practice noticing your breath and slowing it down. You can add other things, like meditation, to this practice, but you don’t have to start out there. Give yourself as much time as you need to get to the point where you feel comfortable adding anything else to the equation.
You may not realize just how much your breathing affects your mental state, but as you spend more time with this sort of practice you will learn. The best part is that this is a skill that you can take anywhere and use at any time you’re feeling overwhelmed.