Counting breathing can help you deal stressful situations! As we know, we are living in tense times, and sometimes cancer treatments procedures can be very challenging. Today, we want to explain what is the relaxation response, the one that Dr. Herbert Benson (director emeritus at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.) who is the pioneer in mind/body medicine, teaches to elicit to us, and that is meant to counter and decrease the stress (or “fight or flight”) response a survival that we have to “fight” related to stressful physical or psychological situations. These are situations that activate our inner alert, even a “normal “or typical day. This fight and flight or stress response occurs when we are under excessive pressure makes us live on an alert, a very high alert. And in response our heart beats faster, increase blood pressure, and hormones can increase faster, making our muscles tenses.
But there is a way to counteract this effect, it’s the relaxation response, the opposite reaction to the “fight or flight” response, and is very helpful to turn off the stress response and to bring our body to a better state. To bring and restore deep relaxation and inner peace. A helpful way to, that helps us reduce heart rate, slow breathing, and reduce blood pressure, helping us to feel better and calm. It’s our “personal ability to encourage your body to release chemicals and brain signals that make your muscles and organs slow down and increase blood flow to the brain.”
With this breathing technique (Counting Breathing), you can evoke this Relaxation response.
How to do it?
These are some tips:
Become aware of your breathing. Maintain a calm attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace.
Breath through your nose.
- As you breathe in, count (mentally) until 3, silently to yourself.
- As you hold, gently count (mentally) 1 to 4, silently to yourself.
- As you exhale, count (mentally) until 5, silently to yourself.
Continue for 10 repetitions.
When you finish, sit quietly for several seconds, observe and feel your body.
Practice it before your scan or medical appointment! It will help you feel better. Did you feel more relaxed? We would love to hear you. Let us know if this technique works for you.
Sending you love, and a calming and relaxing breathing!