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Consistent or constant stress has been felt by more than twice as many Canadians during the pandemic as before according to a recent survey from Nanos Research.  We learned that It’s normal to feel anxious, preoccupied, or stressed during this health crisis.

Deep breathing is one of the ways we can calm our nervous systems.

Breathing in through our noses (instead of our mouths) stimulates our vegas nerve, which can reduce stress, anxiety, anger and inflammation by activating the “relaxation response” of our parasympathetic nervous system. Slow abdominal breathing helps to minimize the “flight-fight” response. 

In my classes and even before I lead worship, I invite people to take a moment to just breathe and center.  Learning to “belly breathe” like small children do instead of “chest breathing” helps calm us down quickly.  Just taking 3 slow and deliberate breaths from the belly can interrupt our “flight-fight” response.

To help us become more mindful about our breathing patterns, simply place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.  We want the chest to be still and the belly hand to move out like you’re blowing up a balloon.

If your anxiety gets worse, please make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms.  With the right approach you can control your anxiety.

The government has created the “Wellness Together” online portal to help get us get connected to a mental health professional quickly (https://ca.portal.gs)

And join me for “Candlelight Meditation” to explore how guided meditation can soften feelings of anxiousness and reduce stress.  We start back up August 11.  Register soon!