Hi, welcome back!
As we discussed last month, our easiest path to health and wellness is to reconnect to how we naturally evolved to be healthy. There is no magic pill, magic workout or magic diet that will give us sustainable wellness, energy and vitality.
We all know many things we need to do to be healthy, like good sleep, good nutrition, lots of movement etc. but it just seems so hard to stick to anything.
Let’s explore why that is.
First, in this culture our bodies and minds are being hammered daily with stress. Let’s look at all the things that stress us. Sugar and processed foods, blue light (screens), being sedentary, pollution (air/water/noise/soil etc.), alcohol, drugs, smoking, other people’s stress. The list is long.
Being stressed shifts us into the sympathetic nervous system (or “fight or flight”) state. Constantly living under stress has us living in the revved up state for much of our waking hours. This is unnatural and very unhealthy.
It also does something very interesting that stops us from making reasoned decisions. It shuts down the prefrontal cortex of our brain which houses our processing for logic and reason.
Do you ever notice how when you are stressed, your cravings are overwhelmingly strong? In the sympathetic nervous system state our brain goes into automation mode and is just searching for “energy” to battle the perceived threat (stressor). Most of our cravings produce either dopamine or adrenaline feeding our monkey brain, with no consideration for our long-term wellness.
So, it makes sense that if we want to change our behaviour and make it easier to adopt some healthy lifestyle practices, we first should learn how to calm our nervous system to a) create the space for choice in the moment and b) reduce the strength of our cravings.
The first of the two foundational practices we teach to our clients does just that, and in less than a minute!
Let me teach you the basic version now. If you want the full (free) training, you can find a link to ask for it on
It’s called Heartflow breathing.
Follow these simplified instructions in a moment of stress.
• Close your eyes and put your hand on your heart
• Breathe in for 4 seconds
• Breathe out for 7 seconds
• On the exhale think about what you are grateful for in that moment
• Repeat 2 more times with consistency
•Notice how you feel
Practicing this 3 or more times per day will train your nervous system to stay in the parasympathetic (rest and digest) state more and more of your day!
Now go and practice! (and notice your monkey mind telling you all the reasons you shouldn’t! The monkey mind doesn’t like change!)
Next month we’ll talk about another powerful foundational practice.