How To Master The Art Of Stress

Uncategorized Jan 24, 2020

In this blog post of stress, breath, mind and body I will guide you through what Stress is, How it affects your mind and body, why breathing can relieve stress, why your breath can help you build up a resilience to stress and why your breath optimizes your physical, mental and emotional health. I provide you with articles that support this content, videos of me explaining the subject matter more deeply and I even give you the best 30 Min Morning Breathwork Meditation! 

Who Am I?

My name is Steven Whitney and I am one of SOMA Breath’s Master Instructors and one of the most experienced facilitators and coaches. I teach students how to use their breath to tap into their true potential, relax their minds, release limiting beliefs, tune into their souls purpose and how to optimize their physical, mental and emotional health.

I take people on powerful visualization breathwork journey’s that help you transmute any low vibrations into your highest frequency and power. I focus on teaching people how to hack their physiology through different breathing methods. 

After I dove deep into the power of pranayama and meditation I discovered how life transformational it really is. I went from deeply depressed to alive and awakened. I tapped into my true potential. After guiding others to awaken to their true power I discovered my soul's purpose, to combine these and other methods together and share it with the world. 

I have taught thousands of students from around the world, guided over 500 students through online SOMA Breath programs, featured at 8 festivals and hosted hundreds of workshops! 

I have spent the last 3 years training and teaching on a holistic island in Thailand that specializes in bringing the best teachers from around the world for yoga, meditation, pranayama and tantra. I now want to support others in their journey to overcome Stress and find their true power and happiness within. Check out my 30 Day Online Stress Breathwork Program “From Stressed To Blessed” and see for yourself how powerful your breath is and how powerful YOU are. 

To learn more about myself and my journey visit my About Me Page  https://www.breathewithsteve.com/about-steve

 

What Is Stress?

Stress is a growing epidemic and affecting millions of people around the world. In this rising epidemic you clearly see the increase in serious health conditions due to the lack of balance to the mind and body. Your breath directly influences all the functions of your body, so if your breath is not balanced then neither will your mind and body. Check out these stats about how debilitating stress is.

  • 94% of Americans reported feeling stress at their workplace
  • 57% of people who experience Stress are paralyzed by it.
  • 66% of Americans say that stress caused them sleep deprivation
  • 34% stated feeling fatigued due to stress
  • 35% reported feeling angry due to stress
  • 550 million working days are lost every year due to stress-related absence from work
  • Approximately 45% of teenagers claim they feel stressed all the time
  • Over 60% of college students leave school due to mental health issues caused by stress.
  • 40% of the employed feel that their office environment mimics the survivor program.

    https://loudcloudhealth.com/stress-statistics/

 

How People Are Affected By Stress

Stress isn’t actually a THING. It is a response. A defense mechanism designed into your physiology and bio chemistry. In each moment of your life there is a series of reoccurring actions and reactions happening within you. First your senses are getting activated, then it goes into the brain for processing, that triggers a response to the autonomic nervous system (breathing,heart rate, saliva, arousal etc), that then triggers a response to the body to react accordingly (muscle contraction, increased blood flow, decreased blood flow etc) the bodies reaction will then turn into a feeling (icky, exciting, scary etc) that feeling will turn into an emotion (anger, sadness, happiness etc) and our emotional state is how we perceive the world around us. If you are happy you will see the beauty that surrounds you and if you are angry then you will see the hate and bad in that surrounds you. The choice is yours. 

If you are unaware of how each moment triggers a response in the body then you will be subject to the environment that you are in. This is generally a very difficult environment. People are basically swimming in a SEA OF STRESS HORMONES on a daily basis. This is why Stress is such a growing epidemic. As our society grows it becomes more and more cut throat and we are not taught how to deal with this Stress Response. Check Out This Video where I explain how stress can be created through each moment.  I have created what I call the STRESS WHEEL. This teaches you how to stop the cycle before Stress penetrates your mind and body.  

Breaking The Stress Wheel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKbTr3rf5eE

 

If your stress response is overly activated than you are putting serious wear and tear on your mind and body. It is like having your foot on the gas pedal and the brake pedal of your car. Something will eventually break, it won’t run as well and it will be a bumpy ride. The same exact thing applies to our mind and body if we are overly stressed out. Most people don’t even know that they are stressed and their bodies stress response is being overly activated.

 

Stress comes in many forms. It is not just something that happens at work. Listed below are others things that can bring heavy stress.

  • The death of a loved one.
  • Divorce.
  • Loss of a job.
  • Increase in financial obligations.
  • Getting married.
  • Moving to a new home.
  • Chronic illness or injury.
  • Emotional problems (depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem)

 

Your Stress Response can also be activated by thoughts or emotions. Remember that the mind and body are actually connected. Listed below are some thoughts and emotions that if not dealt with correctly can lead to chronic stress. 

  • I can’t do this
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not lovable
  • I’m not good enough
  • (you get the point)
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Doubt
  • Worry
  • (and more)

 

When you experience any of the points listed above than your mind and body are going to have a stress response. Listed below are the series of reactions the body has when a stress response is sent.

  • Muscles Contract
  • Artery Ways Contract
  • Blood Vessels Contract
  • Heart Rate Increases
  • Digestive System Stops
  • Sympathetic Nervous System Gets Activated
  • Breathing Shallow or Becomes Erratic
  • Adrenaline is released
  • Cortisol Levels Increase
  • Cognitive Function Decreases
  • Un Balanced Emotions

 

As you can see there is a lot that is happening when you go into a Stress Response. Over time if overly activated then the symptoms are dangerous. Listed below are some negative health conditions that can result from Chronic Stress

  • Heart Failure
  • Weight Gain
  • Aging
  • Mood Swings
  • Depression 
  • PTSD
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Leaky Gut
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Lyme's Disease
  • Alzheimer's
  • Parkinsons

 

Now this is not a Depressing Blog at all right???? HaHaHa 

No but seriously stress is a dangerous thing. This response is for our survival. Now 100 years ago when we where about to be attacked by a bear then it was important that we have a stress response and our heart rate rises, our breathing increases, Increased blood flow to our arms and legs, digestive system stops etc. In a time of life or death, the body is designed to help out. (Amazing) The difference is that we are no longer being attacked by bears. We are being attacked by work deadlines, bosses, relationships, financial struggle, social media and more. Also we are not taught how to deal with it properly and how to recover from it.

 

So now comes the FUN Part!

How in the hell do we deal with STRESS? 

I quit my corporate job over 3 years ago after reaching incredibly high stress levels. I was a heavy drinker, did drugs, depressed, anxiety and a lot of ANGER. I set out around the world to find different forms of healing, bio hacking, knowledge of the mind and body. I found this amazing holistic island in Thailand that brings some of the best teachers from around the world in Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama, Nutrition, Detox and Bio Hacking. I trained in all of these over the last few years. They are all powerful and amazing but the one that had the biggest transformation on myself and others was Pranayama (Breath Control) or (Control Of Life Force Energy) Prana = Life Force Energy - Yama = Control Of 

I was blessed enough to have trained under a well know health practitioner Niraj Naik aka The Renegade Pharmacist. He taught me the science of breath! I found that as I trained in the topic the more I realized how powerful it really is. It is the top bio hacking tool there is! As you heard me say above, Your Breath Influences all the functions in your mind and body. 

So when you learn how to breathe and use other ancient methods of pranayama like Kumbhaka (breath retention) you are literally altering your physiology, biochemistry and neurology! You can pretty much self generate your own happiness, strength, stress levels, health and energy levels. Listen below are some Optimizations that can occur when you use your breath to Hack Your System. 

  • Turn On/Off Stress Response
  • Hack Endocrine System (hormones and feel good hormones)
  • Increased Cognitive Function (Focus, Memory)
  • Clarity (Brain Efficiency)
  • Produce Energy More Efficiently 
  • Mitochondria Become More Efficient 
  • Build Up A Resilience To Stress
  • Lower Heart Rate / Blood Pressure
  • Raise Heart Rate / Blood Pressure
  • Increased Mood
  • Brain Health
  • Anti Aging
  • Increased Energy Levels
  • Release Natural Shot Of Adrenaline
  • Physical Health. (You learn to use less O2 and hack the muscles to increase red blood cells and create stored O2 so you become stronger, more fit, increase stamina and endurance. 
  • HEALING -  You can learn how to create an environment within that is conducive to allowing STEM CELLS into circulation! Crazy Right!

 

Why Breathing Relieves Stress

 

Extending Your Exhale

Your breath directly influences the functions of your physiology. Every time you breathe there is a series of actions and reactions that will occur in your mind and body. Just as easy as your breath can create a stress response in your body it can also turn that response off. When you slow down the rate of your exhale and breathe OUT for longer than you breathe IN than you are building up CO2 levels in your bloodstream. CO2 is a mega powerful molecule that does wonders to your body. CO2 will dilate your blood vessels, open up your artery ways increasing blood flow around the body. Increased levels of CO2 will also encourage the release of Serotonin (feel good hormone) This helps with waking cycles, happiness, wellbeing and even arousal. Breathe In through your nose and out through your mouth. If it helps guide yourself by counting in for 2 sec and out for 4 sec. Smooth on the inhale and relax on your exhale. 

 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20840865

If you want to become relaxed, centered, happy, energized, focused and healthy then just breathe IN for a count of 2 and OUT for a count of 4. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Smooth on your inhale, breathe into your belly and just relax on the exhale. No force or tension. No pause or break between the inhales and exhales. Smooth, Connected, Rhythmical Breathing.
Check out this video where I show you that by using energy locks you can raise your heart rate and by Extending Your Exhale you can dramatically lower your heart rate, blood pressure and activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest)  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74R0xvils5Q&t=1s

 

Heart Coherence

4x4 Breathing Rhythm

(Stress Maintenance) 

(Heart Coherence)

If our breath directly influences the functions of our physiology and our physiology is subservient to rhythms than if our breathing is out of rhythm then so are all the functions of our body. This can lead to sleep disorders, loss in appetite, unbalanced hormone levels, fatigue, heart conditions, lack in physical performance, brain fog, lack in cognitive functions and more. 

This is why breathing in a rhythm and being aware of the rhythm of your breath is so important. When you breathe the same amount IN as you do OUT and breathe at a slow rate, then you create what is called Heart Coherence.

HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. The more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states it facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability. This means that learning to generate increased heart rhythm coherence, by sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform.  https://www.heartmath.com/science/ 

During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive functions. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. (This helps explain why we may often act crazy and unwisely when we’re under stress.) The heart’s input to the brain during stressful or negative emotions also has a profound effect on the brain’s emotional processes—actually serving to reinforce the emotional experience of stress. Basically you become used to be in a low state and that becomes the mind and bodies default setting. 

 

The Heart Math Institute has done studies that show your heart send more signals to the brain than the brain does to the heart. This mean that if  we are sending Coherent EM waves to the brain it will lead to positive emotions, increased focus, clarity, memory and health. Coherence makes your body like a good symphony. Everyone is in order and playing the right pitch and melody. If your heart is Incoherent that your body is like a high school rock band practicing in their parents garage. Super out of tune, loud and annoying. LOL

 

How Do You Create Heart Coherence?

Each time you breathe In your heart rate slightly goes up. Each time you breathe OUT your heart rate slightly goes down. So if you control your breath in a slow perfect rhythm of inhales and exhales while connecting each inhale to the exhale then you will create Heart Coherence. Remember IN through your nose and OUT through your mouth. Inhale into your belly, then chest, exhale and relax. 

 

Breathing In A Rhythm

Our bodies work off of rhythms. So does nature and the world.Like the rise of the sun and moon. Light and Dark. The Seasons. Our annual body cycles follow the seasons: As the days lengthen toward summer, our daily alertness phase also lengthens; our hearts and lungs handle exercise better; and we need less sleep. In winter, we become slower, we sleep longer and more deeply, we eat more, and we store body fat more easily; we move toward hibernation.  It is important to honor and respect these rhythms. If not it can have negative effects on your health happiness and overall well being.

Humans have 4 main biological rhythms. 

  • circadian rhythms: the 24-hour cycle that includes physiological and behavioral rhythms like sleeping
  • diurnal rhythms: the circadian rhythm synced with day and night
  • ultradian rhythms: biological rhythms with a shorter period and higher frequency than circadian rhythms
  • infradian rhythms: biological rhythms that last more than 24 hours, such as a menstrual cycle

 

The circadian clock plays a physical, mental, and behavioral role that responds to light and dark.

This clock helps regulate functions that include:

  • Sleep schedules
  • appetite
  • body temperature
  • hormone levels
  • alertness
  • daily performance
  • blood pressure
  • reaction times

https://www.healthline.com/health/biological-rhythms

This is why breathing in a rhythm and being aware of the rhythm of your breath is so important. When you breathe the same amount IN as you do OUT then you create what is called coherence. 

 

How To Build Up A Resilience To Stress

When you learn the science of your breath and the science of your physiology you can learn to bio hack how it operates. There is a difference between Negative Stress and Positive Stress. Constant contraction and not allowing time to restore balance back to the mind and body is a negative stress. The body will eventually start to break down. Positive Stress is the stress response that the body adapts to and builds up strength. (Fitness Training, Breathing, Yoga, Deep Focus etc)

There is one incredible way to do this. It is an ancient breathing method performed by ancient Himalayan Yogis. It is called Kumbhaka (breath retention, holding your breath) This will create a positive stress response on your mind and nervous system. When you reach your threshold and the body sends a panic signal for you to breathe and you override that sensation then your body adapts to the condition. It becomes more efficient, strong, balanced and over time stress will not affect you like it used to. The more negative stress you put on yourself the easier you will be triggered to respond in an irrational manor. When you train your mind and body with a positive stress then you will build up a resilience to stress and stressful situations. 

The body also responds to this in powerfully positive ways. When you Hold Your Breath OUT for brief periods going past your comfort zone ( Nisshesha Rechaka Kumbhaka ) than the body begins to adapt. When you hold your breath OUT you lower oxygen levels and increase CO2 levels. This is called Intermittent Hypoxia (brief periods of low oxygen)  Below is a list of health benefits of Intermittent Hypoxia.

Keep in mind you can be too hypoxic. Please only use this method in the right amounts. You can have negative effects if overused. Recommended no more than 15 min a day. 

  • Increases Stamina and Endurance
  • Supports Optimum Blood Flow
  • Positive Stress Response On Nervous System
  • Promotes Cell Reproduction and Regeneration
  • Produce More Red Blood Cells
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Encourages Growth and Development Of Nervous Tissues
  • Naturally Restores Proper Blood Flow to an Obstructed Coronary Heart Artery
  • Prevents Generation Of Tissues and Organs
  • Relieves From Many Chronic Diseases like asthma, arthritis, diabetes and sleep disorders

If you have any of the listed below items than Intermittent Hypoxia is NOT good for you. There are other methods for you to focus on. 

  • Severe/critical diseases or infections
  • COPD-II and COPD-III
  • Organ failure or late-stage terminal illness
  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer (Exception: your doctor gives you specific permission)
  • If you have epilepsy, a pacemaker, or irregular heart beat (Exception: your doctor gives you specific permission).

Check out this article that supports brain health and neural stem cells with Intermittent Hypoxia. 

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/013c/ffaeefa5c893897e2d238a1854c4709691f7.pdf

The body needs oxygen to thrive and survive but only in the right amounts and used properly. Too much oxygen will damage your cells, mitochondria, create aging, stress, anxiety and burn out. Hypoxia protects against oxidative damage to the body by prompting the production of an enzyme that produces nitric oxide. Hypoxia also increases resistance to injuries and ageing. Intermittent Hypoxia allows your body to experience brief periods of low oxygen and your body will adapt by becoming stronger, healthier, produce energy more efficiently and its said that this will increase Longevity (living longer) It is said that the ancient yogis used this to live forever. LOL

I am sure you have heard of athletes going to high altitudes to train and they come back super human. The reason is the low amounts of oxygen in the air. Their bodies adapt to having less oxygen and they do become super human. The thing is, is that you do not have to go to the top of a mountain to gain the same effects. You can train in these Breathing Methods in the comfort of your own home and achieve the same results. 

One of my biggest transformations was how I was able to adapt to stressful situations. I am a very energetic, passionate and fiery person and I used to fly off the handle when I got triggered. Now I stay so focused and calm. With this strength to my nervous system I stay balanced in tough situations and I feel like I make much better decisions from that state. I haven’t been sick in years, my creativity is through the roof, I am healthy and happy. This method is powerful! 

How To Master The Art Of Stress

From Stressed To Blessed

I have combined the most powerful tools I have learned over the years that apply to stress, happiness and hacking your physiology. I put it in a 30 Day Online Stress Breathwork Course. It’s called From Stressed To Blessed. People are transforming their lives with this 30 Day Course. I teach you how to hack your nervous system to withstand stress and stressful situations. You will learn the science of stress and your nervous system. I teach you how to apply these tools and methods to your everyday life. I also teach you how to shift your perspective on things. The mind is just as strong as the body. You will learn of the 4 Pillars of Stress, Negative and Positive Stress, How To Break The Stress Wheel and much much more. From Stressed To Blessed  You will receive 12 Breathwork Meditations. These are driven from world renowned musicians from around the world. I use my own music and SOMA Breath music. All music is specifically produced for your breathwork mediation experience! Trust me it is amazing!!!  

What You Will Learn : 

  • Understand what stress is and where it comes from
  • Identify and change your habitual stress patterns
  • Strengthen and develop your inner resilience to stress
  • Harness the tools that are essential to your health and well being in times of pressure
  • Pinpoint the specific causes of stress in your life
  • Face future challenges with confidence and ease
  • Learn how to deal with stress before it becomes a health problem
  • Shift your perception on moments and situations that can create stress
  • Elevate Your Mood in Minutes

 

What You Get:

  • 5 Live Online Group Training's
  • 50 Videos Led By Breath Coach Steve Whitney
  • 10 hours of On Demand Video Content
  • 12 Breathwork Meditations
  • 6 hours of Breathwork Meditations
  • E Book on Breathwork and Stress
  • Access to Online Stress Community
  • 4 Perspective Shift Exercises
  • 4 Health Hacks
  • 4 Bonus Features
  • Science Of Stress/Breathwork Video
  • 12 Emails of Continued Education
  • 6 Personal Assessments
  • Full Lifetime Access
  • Mobile App and Desktop Access

 

Your Breath is one of the most vital tools to your health and happiness and one of the most overlooked and underappreciated. When you change your breath you change your life. 

If you want to learn more of these tools and the deeper effects of how they influence the functions of your physiology and how you can use them to optimize your physical, mental and emotional health than join me in my 30 Day Online Stress Course called From Stressed To Blessed and learn how powerful you are and how powerful your breath is. You will never breathe the same again! From Stressed To Blessed

Free 5 Day Stress Less Program 

Remember Breathe Smarter Not Harder.

Steve Whitney aka Breathe With Steve

 

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