Mindful breathing practices can help facilitate and improve the flow of oxygen into the body and carbon dioxide out of the body. Increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain allows your nervous system to promote a state of calmness. As your body experiences this state of calmness, you may learn to quiet your mind. Consider your breath and your mind like two sides of the same coin: where one goes, the other follows.
Join Angela Johnson, Peer Support Specialist from the Central Arkansas VA Medical Center, in this 3 minute mindful breath practice. This practice will assist you in bringing awareness to your breath, while you experience a state of calmness. This practice can also help you manage stress. Mindful breathing can be done formally in a practice or informally throughout your day. Simply pause to use the breath as a cue to bring awareness back to your present experience.
The more you practice different breathing exercises, the more effective they can be. The same goes for living Whole Health. To find out how to incorporate more self-care into your life, visit https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/index.asp.
Looking for other ways to help deal with stress? The Moving Forward app provides on-the-go tools and teaches problem solving skills to overcome obstacles and deal with stress. The app is for Veterans and service members but can bring value to anyone coping with stress. It’s especially helpful in managing challenges such as: returning to civilian life, balancing school and family life, financial difficulties, relationship problems, difficult career decisions, and coping with physical injuries. It may be used alone or in combination with the Moving Forward online course: https://www.mobile.va.gov/app/moving-forward
Sara Grimsgaard, MHMS, NBC-HWC is a Health Systems Specialist for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center and Whole Health Education Program in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation