30 Day Health Challenge – Day 23

We’re going to take a short, 3-day break from primary foods to explore an issue plaguing many of us: stress.

Stress can run through all the primary foods, so I want to take a few days to challenge you to try some stress reduction techniques. As with everything we’re exploring this month, give it a try. If you like it, keep it. If not, try something else.

Today, I’m going to challenge you to do a deep breathing exercise every time you start feeling stressed or rushed.

Deep breathing engages our parasympathetic nervous system. Our sympathetic nervous system handles our fight/flight responses, but our parasympathetic nervous system handles digestion, burning fat, healing our bodies, etc.

Our body doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a serial killer and getting overwhelmed by a work deadline. We can help it, by taking a step back and doing deep breathing exercises to reduce our stress.

So.. Start by sitting straight but relaxed in your chair. Place your hands on your belly just below your belly button. Breathe in and out deeply. You should feel your belly expand under your hands when you breath in. Continue for at least five full breaths or until you feel your breathing moving your belly in and out.

Then, for five full breaths, count one to five as your breath in. Then hold for a count of two. Finally, count one to seven as you breath out.

Take a minute to do this every time you feel stressed or overwhelmed today.

Happy Eating!

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