Move and Breathe!

Winter is here in the Southern Hemisphere, and for many of us this it is a time of hibernation. Maybe not for the intrepid outdoors woman, and we salute you! But if moving and breathing has become lower on your agenda than normal, and instead you are beginning to assume a chair shaped body position, you may have noticed that your stress levels have elevated!

Why do we get stressed out? And what can we do?

Stress occurs when there are internal or external influences that cause us to take action for our survival. or perceived survival!

But for many of us, our bodies may be just telling us we are stressed, due to our breathing patterns.

When our shoulders are creeping up toward our ears (read, sitting at a desk and typing, responding to deadlines, juggling kids, fighting off winter colds) and its cold, or we maybe drink a fair bit of caffiene (i was going to write 'too much' but who am I to say what is too much haha) we may find ourselves breathing more shallowly than we should, or could.

When we use our 'accessory muscles' of breathing, like we would if we were panicking or running our bodies go into RUN AWAY FROM THE DANGER mode.... even if there is no real danger.

This sends blood to our running away muscles and not so much to our internal 'rest and digest' - so our digestion might get a little rough, among other signs of being stressed out!

By breathing deeply into our diaphragm - the bell shaped muscle up under our ribcage, we activate our REST AND DIGEST pathway of our nervous system. This helps with a myriad of things, like good digestion, clear thinking, and an over all feeling of wellness.

So if you are finding that winter is meaning more sluggishness, less activity and some feelings of being a bit pent up, take five. Sitting down for five minutes a day to breathe into the lower part of the ribcage, relaxing the shoulders and neck while doing so, may give you that moment of perspective and allow your body to move into a more calm and healthy state.

We look forward to sharing lots more tips for wellness as we move gently through these cooler months and emerge into Spring and Summer!

Beth and Lucy

Selkie xo

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 000 immediately.The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are affiliated.

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