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Stress Management Challenge Day 2 – Breathe as You Were Born to Do.

🎯 Today’s Mission:

To successfully complete today’s mission:

  • Complete 5-mins of diaphragm breathing.
  • [OPTIONAL] Share your experience with us in the Stress Management Support Group
  • Complete the form at the bottom of the page when done.

💡 More Info:

❓ How to do diaphragm breathing:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your head.
  2. Put one hand on your upper chest and the other below your rib cage so you can feel the movement of your diaphragm.
  3. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your stomach expand to press into your hand.
  4. Keep the hand on your chest as still as possible.
  5. Engage your stomach muscles and draw them toward your spine as you exhale using pursed lips.
  6. Again, keep the hand on your upper chest as still as possible.
  7. Continue breathing like this for at least 5 mins or longer if you wish.

Did you know that most people do not breathe correctly? Mind Blowing to believe since it is what we do 24/7 to stay alive. 

When we say to someone “Just breathe” it is now clear that unless they can breathe correctly they stand to derive a fraction of the benefit. 

Breathing correctly is a powerful tool to help manage anxiety and stress. 

😮‍💨 Fight, freeze and flight

This is simply because when we are in a state of fight, freeze or flight a range of physiological changes take place in our body to prepare us for danger and to deal with it. 

For example our blood pressure is increased and changes involve the brain, the autonomic nervous system, and a cascade of hormones and other substances that rule involuntary body functions such as breathing and heartbeat.

In modern society few of the things we fear pose mortal danger and our physiological response is not appropriate. Ironically over time the response itself is a danger to our health. 

🫁  Breathe yourself to calm

How can simply breathing help us prevent this over-stated reaction to the daily stresses of modern life? 

Simply because when we breathe slowly and correctly in a controlled manner our body understands that there is no threat and will begin to relax its stress response. 

Two of the biggest mistakes people make with breathing are: 

  1. They breathe from their chest and not their diaphragm. 
  2. They breathe through their mouth and not their nose. 

If you already breathe correctly please consider this a refresher.

➕ Expand your practice

After you learn this breathing technique lying down, you may wish to try it while sitting in a chair. 

This is slightly more difficult.

Diaphragm breathing exercise in a chair:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your knees bent.
  2. Relax your shoulders, head, and neck.
  3. Put one hand on your upper chest and the other below your rib cage so you can feel the movement of your diaphragm.
  4. Inhale slowly through your nose so that your stomach presses against your hand.
  5. Keep the hand on your chest as still as possible.
  6. Engage your abdominal muscles as you exhale through pursed lips, keeping the hand on your upper chest still.
  7. Continue breathing like this for the duration of your exercise session.

Once you’re comfortable with both of these positions, you can try incorporating diaphragmatic breathing into your daily activities. Practice this breathing when you:

  • Exercise
  • Walk
  • Climb stairs
  • Finish carrying or lifting objects
  • Shower

✅ Mission Accomplished?

Fill in the form below once you’re done to keep track of your progress.

Which day of the challenge have you completed?
Name(Required)
Used to automatically email you a copy of your mission submission so that you can keep track of which missions you have completed.
Challenger's Pledge(Required)