Explained: Adrenal Fatigue + Breath Work

Have you ever taken a second to take a breath so deep you don't even know how you're breathing in any more but then it hits that spot and you're like "ahhhh this is so good?"


That's breath work. It's literally that simple.


It's not this crazy woo woo, out there breathing (yes you can do all of that too, it's freaking awesome) but your breath work to help alleviate stress is actually really simple.


First, what's the point?


Part of the reason many of us can't heal our bodies from autoimmune diseases or just unexplained exhaustion, weight gain, blood sugar crashes, hair loss, brain fog (and much more) is because our adrenals have taken such a hit over the course of our lives that they just say "nah...I'm not doing this anymore" and take a nap. aka adrenal fatigue.


Your adrenals are little glands that sit above your kidneys. They are responsible for releasing cortisol, the stress hormone. The role of cortisol is to help you respond better to stress. Make you more alert, focused, give you energy, lower pain sensitivity...this is fight or flight. That feeling of when your heart is racing, you're ready to get the heck out of here or literally fight someone. This sense was given to us for good reason. We needed fight or flight when humans were living in caves, fighting other humans and predators to get food and stay alive. But what has happened over time is that we are under so much acute stress for such long periods of time that our bodies can no longer respond and we are completely depleted. There's no recovery to be had and we see tons of negative side effects.


Signs of Adrenal Fatigue (including but not limited to)👇🏻

-Low energy.

-Feeling tired upon waking in the morning.

-Trouble falling asleep.

-Blood sugar imbalances.

-Brain fog.

-Inflammatory responses.

-Abdominal fat (that is often hard to lose).

-Hair loss.

-Lightheadedness.

-Digestive issues.

-Weight gain.

-Craving sweet or salty foods.


If any of these sound like you, we need to get to work on calming that chronic stress response to help your body relax and rejuvenate. This will help facilitate a lot of your healing! I'll help you add in special foods, certain supplements and techniques later to help with your healing but today we're going to focus on good ole breathing. The thing that reminds us that we are, indeed, still here!


One of my earliest lessons in spirituality was to focus on bring "in the pReSeNt mOmEnT" 🙄 and it annoyed the holy shit out of me. I HATED being told to "not be stressed and just be present" ask my fiancé how that went for him. No amount of being in the present moment fixed my trauma, divorce & co parenting stress, single motherhood, financial worries, a business full of people projecting their needs and frustrations (that were out of my control...) on me 24/7....yeah present moment doesn't take any of that away. But what DID was taking a minute to calm my body down to really see what was an immediate issue at hand and what was not. That's where breath work came in for me.


I started with learning to walk away in an intense moment. Sometimes outside, sometimes to the bathroom, sometimes just into the kitchen but I had to learn to walk away from fights, moody children, put my phone down and just take a minute. Then I got in a cool habit of what I call "the last click" breath. idk if that's a technical term but I took a breath so deep that I felt right in the center of my chest, smack dab in the middle of my 4th chakra it was like air got to a place it hadn't been in a really long time and it feels like a release.


I imagine it as this little pocket of a stress monster living deep in my heart center and when I feed it oxygen it chills out and isn't so frantic anymore. Looks like a cartoon germ to me but you do whatever you want with that 🤷🏻‍♀️


So I breath in for 6 counts, hold that breath for 4 counts then out for 8. There's really some magic in exhaling longer than your inhale. I do this as many times as I need to in a heightened moment and I can immediately feel my body calm down. I'm more rational and that "I'm going to book it the heck outta here" feeling falls away. This doesn't mean the stressor is gone. That's usually inevitable. But it does allow me to handle it better and take less of a hit on my body which is the ultimate goal.


The more time we allow our central nervous system to relax, the more our body can get back to the relaxed state of being normal again and the stress response only being there when it's necessary.


I include breath work in my daily practice all day every day. At least 10 times a day I will stop practicing this. Immediately upon waking, in any moment of stress or anxiety, during all of my workouts (especially yoga! breathing is my favorite part!), while driving, in the shower...you name it I have found so much love for this simple practice and the way it makes my body feel. I have finally turned the corner of more time in a relaxed state.


Today's task: practice this breathing technique 1-2 times a day today. First just to get familiar with it and then a second time when something happens in your life that you feel you need to calm your body's response to. This can be a disagreement with a loved one or co worker, your kid screaming in the car, a financial burden, a traffic jam when you're already late....😉


xoxo

Allissa


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