Breathe for your Brain: How to calm your mind and increase blood flow in your brain.
Updated: May 27, 2020
Invisible injuries, and invisible viruses, can easily provoke feelings of deep fear, uncertainty, sadness, and anxiety.
Even if you are not healing from a brain injury, what the world is fighting right now is invisible, and in many ways invisible can feel more difficult, challenging, and uncomfortable to navigate. If you are recovering from a brian injury, concussion, etc, you are already living this reality.
Want a little Hope? While we are at home, doing our part hunkering down, there are ways we can continue to train our brains.
YES, we can work hard to be HEALTHIER on the other side of all of this.
In this post, we will take practical steps to improve brain function at home.
So Today Lets Focus on Breathing!
I imagine in the last month you might have felt anxious? Or even fearful?
Many people with Brain injuries have alterations to their normal breathing.
You may notice that at times your breathing is shallow, you may find yourself holding your breath or feel shortness of breath from doing simple things.
AND we are probably more aware of our breath lately because of the physical symptoms we are hearing are linked to COVID-19.
Did you know that something as simple as decreased oxygen delivery can cause headaches, anxiety, muscle spasms, twitches, dizziness or nausea?
The brain uses a TON of oxygen. If you have an injury, that area is most likely to be robbed of oxygen when your breathing isn’t optimal.
We want to continue to deliver oxygen to those weakened parts of your brain to help calm those symptoms.
There are a few breathing exercises we can do to help increase oxygen delivery.
So take a deep breath in. And exhale. We are in this together!!!
Natural Breathing technique
Don’t be an OVER-breather
Deep breathing is good, but deep breathing too fast can also cause hyperventilation. If you have ever been short of breath or increased symptoms while meditating, this is likely the culprit.
The focus for normal everyday breathing is to breathe a normal amount of air, but practice expanding your lower lungs.
1. Let your stomach relax and expand as you breathe
2. Notice your lower ribs expanding all the way around when you breathe in.
1. Slowly inhale a NORMAL amount of air through your nose. Fill only your lower lung. Stomach expands and upper chest has no movement.
2. Exhale easily. Don’t hold it in.
3. Breathe the next breath when your body is ready.
4. Repeat with a smile and a relaxed attitude
Calming breathing technique
Calming breath (if you are starting to feel anxious) 10x/day or when you are aware that you need a breath .
1. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose filling your lower lung normally then into your upper lung.
2. Hold your breath and count to 3
3. Exhale slowly through purses lips (like you have a straw in your mouth) while relaxing the muscles I. Your face, jaw, shoulders and stomach.
Brain reset breathing
Brain Reset Breathing
1. Sit comfortably
2. Take a long deep breath into your lower lung first (relax your stomach) then your upper lungs (feel your upper chest expand)
3. Exhale slowly while saying “relax” in your head. Close your eyes.
4. Take 10 natural breaths (not deep, just into lower lungs) counting from 10 to 1.
5. Relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders and stomach as you go.
6. When you reach “1” open your eyes and smile.
When put into practice, these exercises are highly effective at reducing stress, calming your brain and improving oxygen delivery.
Please use these techniques, share your comments or reach out with any questions.