October 15, 2015 at 6:18 pm #17805
I updated my Deep Breathing technique six weeks ago to a 7-5-8 rhythm and my sleep has improved. Also my resting heart rate (according to my Fitbit Charge HR) has gone down by 6 ticks.
For decades I have been using deep breathing techniques to calm my response to pain. Just a basic breathe in for a count of five, hold for a count of three and exhale for a count of five. I learned it as a child so it had become ingrained in my response to stressful, uncomfortable or physically painful situations. A couple of months ago I socially met a biofeedback practitioner and he casually mentioned that he uses deep breathing and that on “the way to counting to seven” he could feel his body cool and his heart rate decrease. My mind started whirring: “Wait! What? Seven? Seven what?” said the voice inside my head. So I asked how he counted the breaths.
The model he described is:
Inhale through the nose for a count of 7.
Hold the breath for a count of 5.
Exhale slowly through gently parted lips for a count of 8.
Repeat 7 to 10 times as needed.
I tried it and it felt so odd at first. Then I was visiting a friend in the hospital and noticed that the ventilator assisting her breathing was using a similar rhythm. The graph on the ventilator created an image for me of how the deep breathing exercise should work; climbing line, leveled off line, descending line.
Maybe it was the two events coming together that reinforced the coping technique tune-up. I’m on the lookout now for new or updated ways to upgrade other coping techniques. What have you been doing so long that it is ingrained in your behavior?
November 6, 2015 at 12:33 pm #20497
I am going to try this, always on the lookout for new things that may help me deal with the pain and stress.
Thanks for sharing,
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