Friday night I was up trying to finish reading my book. I only had 2 chapters to go and I was having trouble concentrating because I was getting tired. You know how it is though when you’re close to the end? It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, you want to finish it.
I was making progress when my Inner Party Girl (IPG) started whining. If you didn’t read my previous blog, I call that voice that wants instant gratification my Inner Party Girl. Anyway, she wanted to have another piece of pizza before we went to bed. “It was so good! One more piece will be ok.”
I did a gut check and knew I wasn’t hungry. I decided that she was whining because I was tired and should go to bed soon. I was trying to ignore her and hear my Inner Coach but it was faint.
The book I was reading Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus and Sharpen Your Creative Mind had a section about diaphragmatic breathing. I thought I’d give it a go and see what happens.
I’m not a doctor. The next two paragraphs of info is what I found on the Googles.
Diaphragmatic breathing is also known as belly breathing, meditative breathing, pranayama, and paced respiration. Quickly, it’s that mindful, focused, deep inspiration you take in and hold for a few seconds before exhaling. The benefits of practicing this type of breathing includes lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve core stability muscles, improves sustained attention, lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels and helps you relax by calming down the sympathetic nervous system. I know, I got scientific on ya. Stick with me.
The cool thing is this: Diaphragmatic breathing calms down the sympathetic nervous system. That’s the system responsible for our fight-or-flight response when we feel stressed. So when you’re pissed off that the kids didn’t clean their rooms or do the dishes, dear hubby didn’t mow or didn’t fix that thing you’ve asked him a million times to fix, or work was just a complete shit show, we can practice this type of breathing to help calm us down.
That’s what I did Friday night. My IPG was being a pain in my ass and I was starting to feel agitated that I couldn’t shut her up. So I sat in my chair and closed my eyes. I took a deep breath in, held it for a few seconds, and exhaled. I repeated this process for about five minutes. Finally I could feel some sense of relaxation come over me. And I was able to focus on my Inner Coach voice guiding me to stay out of the fridge, reminding me that I wasn’t really hungry now, and that the pizza would be there tomorrow if I still wanted it.
By taking those 5 minutes, I was able to relax enough to get my thoughts straight and make the best choice. I finished my book and went to bed without eating anymore pizza.
If you’re not into meditation, I get it. I have a hard time sitting there for 10 minutes trying not to think. But I’ve noticed that since starting to practice yoga everyday, that I’m finding it easier to take a few minutes at the end of my practice and just be present. Give it a try and see whatcha think.
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Until next time. Have a flipping fantastic day!