I have a bad posture. I tend to slouch and sit in front of the computer for long hours. I developed upper back pain and shoulder pain. To manage the back and shoulder pain, I would use a foam roller or a rolled up Yoga mat to roll the “knots” away. Before I can roll away the knots, I have to roll through a series of pain. It is a self-inflicted torture chamber.
I have recently come across Dr. Belisa Vranich’s video on better breathing. The lesson in the video is about how to use your belly to breath. Belly breathing is actually nothing new to our body. If you observe babies or young children sleeping, they tend to use their belly to breath.
As we grow older due to lifestyle changes, we have “forgotten” how to use belly to breathe.
Dr Belisa’s video is the perfect way to remind the body how we should correctly breathe once more.
I have been using belly breathing for nearly a month. I practise it in the morning when I got up, at the traffic light, lining up and waiting for someone or the elevator. I do it no more than five minutes per session.
The belling breathing method is subtle enough that I will not attract any attention nor there is a need to carry any equipment. As soon as there is a chance, regardless how little time I have, I can pay attention to the belly breathing.
Since I started practising belling breathing, panic attack such as shortness of breath has gone away. More importantly, I fall asleep faster, especially I practise it just before going to bed.
I still get upper back and shoulder pain. It is slightly more manageable.
The breathing exercise is not a miracle drug or a silver bullet. It just helps me to manage the day better by focusing on the present moment and get detached from the insanity.
For those who are interested in Dr Belisa’s breathing courses, you can find the link here. I have no affiliation with Dr Belisa or her courses. Rather, I just find her breathing method useful.
I admit it. I am always tired. There are many things in my mind. Issues at work. Issues at home. Ideas to start a side hustle. My next workout.
Sometimes I lie in bed and I cannot fall asleep. Sometimes I can knock myself out in seconds laying my head on the pillow. Going to bed and falling asleep is like playing the lottery.
Sleep should come naturally. And it should not be stressful.
Here is what I have been doing and I hope it works for you. Surrender yourself. The harder you try to fall asleep the more awake you get. Surrender yourself to the bed and surrender to your breathing. If your mind wanders, bring it back to the breathing. Feel the fine fabric touching your skin. Appreciate the moment and grateful that you have a bed to lie into. Read a book. During my schooling days, I hate to study. I hate books. Books make me fall asleep. Before you go to bed, pick up a good book to read. Cut back on screen time. Cut back on TV, computer and telephone. The blue light from screens, actually tells your brain that it is daytime. This is why your brain cannot fall asleep as it believes that it is still daytime. Switch off those devices as early as possible. Plan your tomorrow. By planning your tomorrow, you will also put down all your worries into your planning. By having a sense of control and action, you will have less to worry. Thus sleep will come easier. Go to bed, if you are so tired that you can only play with your phone or watch TV. There is no point staying awake as you are not being effective. Sleep is the best form of relaxation. Go to bed at the same time. If you go to bed at the same time. You will tell your body that it is time to sleep. The body is a wonderful machine, it will get itself ready. Talk to your body and listen to your body Go to bed. I know this is a no-brainer. There is a period where I cannot fall asleep is because I did not go to bed! I was too busy playing games. If you want to fall asleep, go to bed.
Sleep is mother nature telling us to rest so that we can prepare ourselves for a longer and tougher journey ahead. It should not be a luxury. Enjoy sleep, and enjoy waking up. YOur sleep quality will determine the quality of your day ahead.
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed?
New York Times reported that proper breathing technic helps to reduce stress.
Consciously changing the way you breathe appears to send a signal to the brain to adjust the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system, which can slow heart rate and digestion and promote feelings of calm as well as the sympathetic system, which controls the release of stress hormones like cortisol.
The article has suggested three breathing exercises which I encourage to try. Click on the link for more details.
I have been using foam roller for about six months. It has helped me with my lower back problem and aches around the body. Do check out the video. Nonetheless before you try anything, please consult your personal doctor.
Tim Ferris of the Four Hour Work Week author has written a fantastic piece about Fitness for the Outside magazine. A short read but very informative.
Being a desk jockey who enjoys working out. I have no idea how bad is my mobility until I try out Jefferson Curl. Check out the links and the video. I am definitely adding Jefferson Curl into my workout.