Box Breathing and Natural Ashwagandha
As most of us stood underneath stunning fireworks, welcoming 2020 in with open arms, we had no idea it would turn out to be anything like this. Now, we are well into our 5th month of quarantine and isolation. While some of us may have found this time to be productive, learn something new, try something different or make sourdough, many of us have felt the more negative effects of the world shutting down. Stress, grief or sadness, just to name a few, have overwhelmed our entire worlds, making us less productive, nervous a lot of the time and even reaching for sedatives to alleviate these feelings.
These negative feelings don’t only have repercussions on our mental health but cause harmful effects on our physical health. We can experience depression and anxiety which in turn causes stress in our bodies. Author Jay Winner who wrote Take the stress out of your life states that “stress isn’t just in your head. It’s a built-in physiologic response to a threat. When you’re stressed, your body responds. Your blood vessels constrict. Your blood pressure and pulse rise. You breathe faster. Your bloodstream is flooded with hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.”Over time, these mental reactions can cause cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and stroke as well as diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer disease and gastrointestinal problems.
Carrying out activities that make you happy or relaxed like painting, reading or going for hikes can aid in mental health. Yet, it seems that right now these simple things that we want to set out to do to bring us joy have been flooded with our negative feelings instead. The good thing about these types of feelings coming to the surface is we can aid them, control them, feel them and help them fade away. Even in such a trying time like a world pandemic. Along with consuming a healthy diet, moving your body and getting a good night sleep, we can find other additions and techniques, specifically breathing techniques or natural supplements. Today we will be sharing a breathing technique called Box Breathing and the incredible effects of the Natural Ashwagandha.
What are the Benefits of Box Breathing?
Breathing exercises can be vital for stress and anxiety relief. Often, when we find ourselves in a sticky situation, our bodies tense up, our breathing intensifies and for some of us, our minds aren’t necessarily able to execute practical or conscious decisions. While this is normal for many of us to feel in this situation, it has the potential to make situations worse and heighten our already high-stress levels. We know it can be hard to believe that something we do naturally every day can have such dramatic effects on our emotions, but lowering our heart rate and releasing tension from our bodies can alter our moods significantly and take us out of fight or flight mode. There are many breathing techniques around but box breathing, also known as resetting your breath, is a great one to start off with due to its focus on the four corners of breath. These are: inhale, breath-hold, exhale and breath-hold which allows for us to retake control of our breathing.
Box Breathing Exercise
- Take a deep breath in for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds
- Release your breath slowly for 4 seconds
- Hold for 4 seconds
Repeat as needed <3
The ratio is easy, making it a simple technique to remember in any stressful situation you are in. It is always good to practice breathing techniques at different parts of your day, even when you wake up. But, if you find your mind spinning, your day becoming overwhelming, having feelings of guilt or waves of anxiety, it is a great time to use box breathing to ground yourself and clear your mind.
What is Ashwagandha?
In Ayurvedic healing, Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs and has been utilized for an array of conditions for around 6,000 years. One of the most substantial uses of Ashwagandha is its use to aid in emotional and physical stress due to it being best known as an adaptogen. Healthline explains an adaptogen as being a herb that can “aid our bodies in reacting to or recovering from both short and long-term physical or mental stress. Some also boost immunity and overall well-being. Research shows adaptogens can combat fatigue, enhance mental performance, ease depression and anxiety, and help you thrive rather than just muddle through. ”Healthline goes into explaining how the adaptogen works in our bodies by stating that “Adaptogens work at a molecular level by regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. These are involved in the stress response. They work by “hacking” the stress response in the body. ”This, in turn, will help us decrease our overall stress levels."
What are the Benefits of Natural Ashwagandha?
As a natural herb, Ashwagandha is a great option if isolation is taking a toll on your mental or physical health as it can induce calmness and clarity. Other benefit include
- Aiding in balancing mood
- Naturally promotes stress relief
- Supports nerve health
- Reduce blood sugar levels
- May improve memory and brain function
- Possibly reduce inflammation in the body
Our Natural Ashwagandha is all organic including organic black pepper which aids bioavailability of the natural ashwagandha, providing better absorption.
As we speak favorably of this natural herb, it is important to note that ashwagandha will not be a one-stop stress reliever when taken. As a plant, and not specifically a medication, ashwagandha takes time and needs consistency to see the amazing effects it can have. Essentially, ashwagandha is a long-term treatment, and there is no better time than now to add this into your daily routine.
The whole world is simultaneously going through a mental health roller coaster. We spend some days in a positive state of mind ready to tackle the day and on others, ready to lay in bed in the dark and wait for this to be over. For some of us, these changes can even be hour to hour. This is the time right now where our mental health needs to become one of our more crucial factors to take care of and control. Box breathing and natural ashwagandha are great starts with gaining some perspective on the way we feel and how we can help ourselves overcome these negative emotions. The coronavirus has made our world spin, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come out of it with a strong sense of mental health and power.