The breath is such an important tool to help keep us grounded and reduce tension. This is a breath I like to do with my son, which is both useful in reducing tension/stress and funny at the same time. 1) Take a full, deep diaphragmatic breath through your nose, 2) Hold for 1 -2 seconds, 3) Breath out through your mouth while voicing an audible “Aaahhhhh…..” until you run out of breath like a lion yawning (the goal is to outlast the other), 4) Repeat several times (2-3 times).
Pausing and doing this breath for a few cycles can actually recharge your cells, and allow you to release any pent-up nervous tension or anxiety. The best part, is watching my 6 y/o do it and laugh as we do it. Anything that generates laughter is also healthy, and releases those feel-good chemicals, such as endorphins, that help us have less pain and feel happy.
So, the next time your day gets too stressful and serious, do the “Aaahhhhh….” breath with a friend, with your children, or your partner. The best part is that it can end with a heart-warming chuckle!!