When most of us decide to improve our health, we focus on losing weight, eating more fruits and vegetables, quitting smoking, becoming more active, and many other popular strategies we hear about every December when planning New Year’s resolutions.

But, what if you discovered a behavior that would:

  • Reduce pain?
  • Improve blood flow?
  • Improve your immunity?
  • Decrease your anxiety?
  • Help you sleep better?
  • Increase your energy level?
  • Improve your posture?
  • Reduce inflammation?
  • Improve digestion?
  • And relax your mind and body?

What if you learned this is something you already do every day, but a few simple tweaks would immediately provide these benefits… and more?

In fact, changing your breathing – slowing it down, taking deeper breaths, controlling your exhale – releases endorphins (“feel-good hormones”), removes toxins from your body, slows your heart rate, and provides oxygenated blood that makes every system work more efficiently. Just this one simple action makes everything else better. You won’t find a simpler wellness plan!

Join Cynthia Mealer as she offers several breathing techniques that will start you on the road to better health. You don’t even need to wait for  January 1st to roll around!

Feel like you need more help with stress relief or other health concerns? Talking with your primary care team is the first order of business. VA resources are available to help you with physical and mental health, and your care team can make the appropriate referrals to help you manage stress.

Don’t forget that you are the center of your health care team. Learn more about how to be involved in setting goals for your best health here: https://www.prevention.va.gov/Healthy_Living/Be_Involved_in_Your_Health_Care.asp.

Each of us has the power to impact our well-being. Whole Health offers the skills and support you need to make the changes you want. The Circle of Health can get you started with self-care resources to live a happier life: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/index.asp.

Marc Castellani, Ph.D., NBC-HWC, is the Whole Health clinical education coordinator for the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.

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Published on Dec. 21, 2020

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