Take a Breath... (part I)

Take a Breath... (part I)

3 minute read

Overview: This is part one of a series of posts on the impact of breathing on your mind and body. We designed the Neo to be powered by your breath - we believe it's the starting point for both a good session and self-care routine.

Taking a breath is starting to feel like a luxury. It doesn’t take high emotional intelligence to notice the tension in the world right now. Even those who have the privilege of physical safety and security feel the shift.

It’s an unnerving time.

Culture Wars. Pandemics and Lockdowns. Gun violence. Racism. Political Polarization. Unemployment. Riots. Wars. Scandals. Karens. Misinformation. Mistrust.

It’s hard not to be exhausted by the constant negativity in our feed. Hate and fear bring quick clicks. They're the currency of modern media, served 24/7.

It’s so easy to doomscroll. And it’s so hard to find comfort when it feels like everything is changing. Right now, change is all around—and most doesn’t feel positive. It seems outside of our control.

We need to take a breath. Literally. A deep, restorative breath.

The act of intentionally taking a breath is a wonderful way to reconnect to yourself. It’s a primal way to soothe frayed nerves and shift from a frazzled, reactive posture toward a more relaxed state of being.

A deep breath is like pressing the reset button.

When we’re stressed our breathing often becomes more and more shallow. As we become steadily more anxious, these shallow breaths give our bodies less oxygen to work with.

Taking a deep breath, one deep enough to expand the belly, stimulates the vagus nerve. Its name, vagus, is derived from the Latin word for ‘wander,’ and it wanders throughout the body because it’s got an awful lot to do! It connects the brain stem with the heart, lungs, kidneys, and digestive tract. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system—a signal to your body to relax.

While we’re at it, let’s take a metaphorical breath as well. Press pause on the overwhelm. Quiet the cacophony served up by your devices. Take a walk, or just sit still. Let your mind and body wander. Hell, why not take a Snow Day? Do something that brings more joy and calmness into your life. Start small if you need to, but do it with intention.

Taking a few deep breaths—or even just one—is a great way to feel empowered when the world is chaotic and everything seems unmoored.

Go ahead. Take a breath.

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