A very important step you can take in making diaphragmatic breathing your natural and “new normal” way of breathing is to give yourself some cues throughout the day that will remind you to take a few deep breaths into your belly. Creating some cues that suit you, adding them to your natural migraine relief routine and also committing to doing a 20-minute daily practice of diaphragmatic breathing will help you to maintain a calm and balanced nervous system. imigran
How do I create Cues?
Cues are simply signals or reminders that prompt you to take a specific action. When the phone rings that is typically our cue to answer the phone. When your alarm clock goes off in the morning it signals you to wake up. Diaphragmatic breathing cues are signals that you choose to respond to by taking a few deep breaths in and out through your nose. These cues are designed by you and you can really choose anything you like to act as your cues. So be creative and have fun with this! Just be certain that the cues you choose are ones that you will see frequently throughout your day.
How many cues do I need?
It isn’t the number of different cues that is important. You can use as many different cues as you like. What is important is that you choose cues that you know you will see, hear, smell or touch often. Any cue that prompts you to take a few diaphragmatic breaths 20 or more times throughout your day will be perfect for you. Remember, the more you are prompted to become aware of your breathing and shift into diaphragmatic breathing the more natural this habit will become for you.
Some of my favorite cues for diaphragmatic breathing:
I have used the following cues and have found them be very effective in helping me become more aware of my breathing. I respond by taking three deep and full diaphragmatic breaths in and out through my nose.
- When my dog Maverick lets out a sigh, yawns, or does his downward dog stretch
When I come to a stop sign or red traffic light
Anytime I complete a phone conversation and hang up the phone
Before opening a new message in my email inbox
Anytime I see a dog hanging his head out of a car window
When I hear an advertisement on the television or the radio
Anytime I drive by a Starbucks (my goodness! They are everywhere!)
When I hear or say the words “I love you” and “Thank you”
You can also write yourself cue notes and post them throughout your surroundings reminding you to bring your awareness to your breathing and take a few diaphragmatic breaths. Your notes can say “There’s no better time than now for taking a few deep breaths” or “Have you balanced your nervous system lately?” Leave these notes posted where you will see them often. At your desk, by the phone, on your bathroom mirror, next to your car keys, or on the back of your front door so that you see it every time you are about to leave your house.
The more fun you have with creating your cues the more likely you will be to take action when you come across them. We all need some friendly reminders when we are practicing building a new and healthy habit. Remember the importance and benefits of creating a diaphragmatic breathing practice. Remember that you are doing this to help your nervous system help you get relief from migraines.
Have fun with your cues and don’t forget to also practice your 20-minute diaphragmatic breathing exercise daily to help you achieve the natural migraine relief you are after!
Left click on the link above and you will be taken to the download page for your complimentary diaphragmatic breathing audio. Once there, you can left click your mouse again to listen immediately to the audio or you can “right click” and choose “save target as” to download the audio to your computer. Enjoy!