Mind, Body, Soul
As a recovering breath holder, Jenny Morrill knows first hand how stress impairs thinking, sleeping, and diminishes feelings of joyful living. As a mother, an educator, and mindfulness teacher for adolescents and youth, she looks forward to sharing with you nuggets of mindful wisdom to help you find ease while navigating life. Jenny is available for one-on-one and group training. Email: Jenny@3marigolds.com
By Jenny Morrill
Why are you telling me to breathe when I want to SCREAM?
Has this happened to you? You are so full of emotion, and all you want to do is act out because if you don’t, you may explode? The stress you are experiencing is overwhelming. The emotion you are feeling is overriding your ability to think and focus. While trying to explain what you are going through, someone advises you just to breathe. What?
The advice to "just breath" is based on science.
The breath is a Bio-Hack and Super-Power!
Our brain uses 90% of our energy. 90% of our energy comes from how our body uses oxygen. When we breathe deeply, our brain receives a signal to relax the nervous system and turn on our thinking brain. The advice to “Just breathe” is based on science. It is a way to turn down the dial on strong emotions and turn up our ability to process and problem solve. It delivers abundant oxygen into our brain and body, which is healthy. Oxygen helps every cell in our body to work efficiently. When we do take our time to breathe, we are giving our body and brain nourishing ingredients to work well.
The Practice Before the Big Game
Taking time to breathe within a mindfulness practice is healthy and healing for the brain, body, and emotions. Outside of an awkward emotional moment, mindful breathing practices are comparable to what an athlete needs to do before the big game. An athlete needs repetitive exercises of a specific skill to do well in a competitive match. It takes time to develop that muscle memory, strength, and coordination to be a successful athlete.
Mindfulness Practice is Preparation for Life.
When you take a few moments to learn the “Skill of Being Still” through mindfulness, you sharpen your ability to steady yourself during difficult times. The mindful breath is the practice of centering yourself. The breath signals the brain to connect less to emotions learning how to work with them rather than getting taken over by them. Mindful breathing is the prep work it takes to move through our days more connected and steady. These practices are the pathway of less judgment and more kindness with yourself and others. Mindfulness brings you closer to who you are. It supports the development of healthy emotional and mental skills to use when dealing with challenges in life.
Check out what other teens are saying about mindfulness...
By Jenny Morrill
Have you ever noticed what can happen with stress overload? The pressure of stress can make thinking harder, emotions stronger, and decision-making often more complicated. Physically, stress can clench a jaw, tighten a stomach, or drag a sleepless night on for hours. The personal weight of experiencing stress can reinforce feelings of loneliness and agitation. It can stir up a constant not-so-friendly pop-up thought that screams, “You are doing it wrong!” on repeat. Stress can become toxic if that inner voice of self-doubt, worry, or even anger becomes a constant companion.
While learning the value of your presence in this world, you may move through a turbulent path. This very path may be overgrown with thorn-covered brush and deep with mud puddles from time to time making it difficult to see clearly. Experiencing a mess is truly part of being human. Learning and using strategies to soothe the clenched jaw, becoming comfortable with emotions, and dealing with muddy shoes can bring some stress relief. And, guess what? You were born with one of the most exceptional science-backed instruments to help heal your heart and mind while dealing with upsets.
One secret to overcoming stress
90% of your energy comes from the oxygen you take in and how your body uses it.
When you breathe, you’re turning off the signals in your brain to react to stress.
You’re giving your immune system a boost, slowing your heart rate, and reducing blood pressure.
You're slowing the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, throughout the body which otherwise left to surge over time, can hurt your health.
You’re getting out of your head and into your body restoring balance physically, emotionally, behaviorally, and mentally.
You’re turning on your “thinking brain” and soothing your automatic emotional brain.
You’re learning to pause before diving into a physical, emotional, behavioral, or mental response that may not be helpful.
A mindful breath. Even just one breath, taken in deep through your heart and into your belly can help. Inhaling all the way deep into your abdomen. Exhaling a little more slowly and taking time to release the out breath. Why is this automatic life force action considered a hidden resource? Here is what science has to say about it:
What you can do
The next time you feel stressed and it starts to take root with the potential of blooming into a disastrous storm of self-doubt and negative thinking, seriously, take a deep breath. Take two. Take three. This breath you can take anywhere. No one needs to know you are using it to calm your mind so you can get through a challenging turn in your personal, unique, and from time to time, rocky path. Your breath is free to use at any time and a natural resource that gives you a moment to pause before making a decision.
Remember, the stress you face doesn’t represent your skills, abilities, value, or worth. You have in your body, mind, and spirit the ability to heal. Your breath is one of the most healing actions your body can take to reset, restore balance, and grow resilience. Trust your breath’s power to heal, mindfully take it in, and allow it to calm your mind.
If you want to learn more and start a mindfulness breathing practice to strengthen your mind’s ability to calm down, many apps can help you practice some guided breathing practices. A fan favorite and free app is the Insight Timer. You can access it online or download it on your phone. When you have two, three, or five minutes in your day to practice a little mindful breathing, you will be creating new pathways in your brain building a “steady and ready” state of being. Another one that has some freebies and some fees is Calm.
Try a workshop
Check out these local workshops for an even more in-depth experience of breathing practices.
Planting Seeds Workshop: Whether facing adversity or wanting to deepen your current self-care practices, this workshop will help you continue to flourish.
3 Marigolds Mindful Reiki Session: This uniquely designed session incorporates three healing modalities to awaken and restore ease.