This Week's R.I.S.E. : Breathe and Visualize

This week's R.I.S.E. (Recovery Inspiration Strength Exercise) is practicing two techniques to soothe yourself to help see you through stressful times. Breathe and Visualize. These two exercises are excellent to add to your collection of recovery tools. They are simple and easy to do. You don't need any special equipment or setting, just a few minutes and a willingness to forge ahead even if you find it awkward to do at first. The more you practice, the less awkward it will feel.

Not your usual breath in, breath out. This is deeper, more controlled. It oxygenates the body. It is very calming and beneficial both physically and emotionally.

Did you know that ...
  • Our bodies are designed to release approximate 70% of it's toxins through breathing.
  • Carbon dioxide that has passed through the body makes it's way to the lungs. Exhaling deeply gets rid of it.
  • Stress/tension causes our bodies to constrict and our breathing to become shallow. Deep breathing relaxes our muscles and calms us.
  • Deep breathing oxygenates the brain which reduces anxiety.
  • Deep breathing ups the immune system.
  • The lungs are strengthened by deep breathing. So is the heart.
  • Neurochemicals (which cause feelings of pleasure)increase in the brain. This elevates mood and helps lessen pain.
Breathing Technique

Sit comfortably, spine straight, feet on the floor, shoulders and arms relaxed.
Keep your throat open and your lips slightly parted.
Close your eyes.
Breath in slowly, through you're nose, to a slow count of 5. Let your stomach expand with each breath, followed by your chest expanding. Once you get the feel of how long a 5 count breath is, stop counting them.
Let the breath linger for a moment before exhaling slowly through your mouth for 5 counts. Think of your breath like a wave that washes up onto the shore and lingers before receding back into the ocean.

Visualization, simply put, is imagining. You can visualize a scenario, place, goal, and even self-healing. There are no limitations as to what you can visualize. The more you practice, the better at it you will become. We all already visualize throughout the day and may not even realize it.

Benefits of visualization include ...
  • Stress relief
  • Calmness
  • Better mood
  • Inspiration
  • Improved focus
  • Improved attitude
Visualization Technique
  • Start with the above breathing technique.
  • Choose a word that you can relate to how you want to feel, such as "relax, calm, or safe." Say this word to yourself as you exhale.
  • As you begin to relax, picture yourself walking along a beautiful beach (or any other place that suits you). Take in the sounds and sights... the waves, the gulls, the wind.
  • Feel the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze on your skin.
  • Feel the sand under your feet.
  • Notice how blue the water and the sky are.
  • The tall grasses move gently with the breeze.
Make it as vivid as you can. It should be filled with the imagery of the things you find beautiful, enjoyable, and relaxing.

Do this at least once a day.

Pressed for time or at your desk at work? You can still benefit. Do some deep breathing and release your chosen word as you exhale.

You may find this post helpful: Self-Soothing Techniques

©Weighing The Facts

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