For some people, ever since Henry Ford invented the 5-day work week, no day is filled with a greater sense of foreboding quite like a Sunday. The weekend is meant for relaxing and recharging before diving into the buddy work week anew, so it’s a shame when we can’t let yourselves enjoy the moment when our minds are reminding us that it’s all about to end come the following morning.
The same issue arises when we go on holiday as well. It’s often said that the happiest time of a person's vacation is in the days leading up to their departure, with many people struggling to enjoy themselves when they know they’ll have to go back home eventually.
In today's blog, we’ll take a look at a useful technique for conquering those feelings of anxiety that arise when we’re on a break and how we can learn to stay in the moment to really maximize our relaxation time.
Our Sunday Scaries technique is a fantastic way to rebalance our thoughts and reduce anxiety and stress during moments of calm. If you’re struggling with a lot of racing thoughts leading into the work week, this technique could be a vital way to help you feel more present.
The Sunday Scaries technique is as follows:
Make sure you’re sitting or lying down in a comfortable spot when trying this method, with your shoulders relaxed.
Inhale through your nose for approximately four (4) seconds
Then exhale through your mouth for approximately seven (7) seconds
As you exhale, allow yourself to hum simultaneously as you breathe out
Complete the above inhale/exhale cycle for a total of 6 cycles or 66 seconds total.
For the best results, ensure you’re breathing slowly into your abdomen on your inhale while keeping your shoulders and chest still. This style of breathing is known as “diaphragmatic breathing” as it engages the diaphragm.
The Science of Breathwork
While the technique may seem simple at first, the science behind this method is profound, showcasing a fascinating relationship between diaphragmatic breathing and our parasympathetic nervous system.
At its core, diaphragmatic breathing is useful for engaging the vagus nerve. This cranial nerve is responsible for helping the body engage, or disengage, the parasympathetic nervous system – or fight-or-flight response. When stimulated, the vagus nerve signals the body to relax and release built-up muscular tension. When combined with humming, the effect is more apparent to the practitioner.
For more information regarding how to manage your breathing for a more effective lifestyle, visit our other blogs here at The Exhale to get the latest tips and tricks. For free guided breathing exercises that you can take anywhere, try out the Breathwrk app here and enjoy a FREE 7-day trial with access to everything we have to offer!
And remember: Breathe Better, Live Better.