Stress and Breath

Stress. How much does this play on your mind, do you know what effect it has on you physically?
Like it or not, we need stress in our lives.
Without it we wouldn’t survive – sounds dramatic doesn’t it.

We have an Autonomic Nervous System, this system keeps us safe, and in balance – it makes sure all our automatic processes are carried out, such as breathing and digestion.

There are two parts to the autonomic system:

SYMPATHETIC Nervous System – this is our reactive system, the one that detects we are being chased by a lion (nowadays, our stress could be work, kids, stuck in traffic etc etc.)


If we are in a state of always feeling like we are being chased by a lion, then our stress levels and hormones adrenaline and cortisol remain high which can have a knock-on effect to our health.

When the lion has gone, or the traffic is moving or you have sorted out the work issues this is where our PARASYMPATHETIC nervous system (our rest and digest system) calms things down.
On the flip side, some stress is good!
When you are waiting to make a speech, or a bungee jump, to asking someone out… this stress gives us the push to do things and we need that too.
When we are feeling stressed, how does that affect our breathing, the tension in our body?
Our breathing may become shallow, breathing into our upper chest and shoulders, which results in not getting lovely full diaphragmatic breath. We maybe clenching our jaw, which creates tension and can affect our Pelvic Floor.

It’s all about balance.
We need to ensure we can let the parasympathetic nervous system in, to calm things down, let the tension go and just soften.

Notice how you feel right now. Are you clenching your jaw, sitting hunched over the desk, frowning?
Try and just let everything soften.
Breath in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 4, feel the breath expand your ribs, and tummy. Let your teeth be apart, the tip of your tongue on the back of your front teeth. Notice the difference now. Do you feel more relaxed, the tension has eased?

Rest, relaxation, good food and sleep are key parts to this process.

You may notice that as you enter midlife you are more reactive to stress, this is down to our hormones fluctuating, we may be busier than ever at this stage of life – work, children, parents, being pulled in different directions with little time to focus on you which can lead to more stress, especially at times when there is so much going on in the world.

If you feel affected by this and need some time to focus and reconnect with yourself, then why not get in touch and we can discuss all areas of female health, stress and self-care and how we can work together to get things in balance.

Use the contact page to get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.