Using Breath Work, Mindfulness, and Physical Fitness to Self-Regulate

Amy Morrison is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified XPT Coach who specializes in educating clients about the nervous system. Using breath work, mindfulness, and physical fitness, clients are empowered to self-regulate and experience the best version of themselves.

We asked Amy about her approach to mental health, how to be more mindful when it comes to social media, and tips for dealing with app-induced stress and anxiety. (Her online program, Regulate + Restore, has a lot more and allows clients who don’t live near her practice in Denver to receive personalized coaching for mental wellness or breath work).

West of Wild, Asks:

Amy Morrison, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor 

Amy Morrison Breath Work

Q

What’s your philosophy towards approaching mental health and how does it deter from a traditional approach?

A

When I work with someone I like to think of their whole body experience of life. Oftentimes I feel that traditional therapy can take out the body from an individual’s experience of mental wellness. I know that aspects of body awareness are gaining more traction in therapeutic settings, but I love to teach people how their body and nervous system play a role in their mental health. 

When I work with clients we talk about their nervous system and all that they are experiencing within the context of how their body seeks safety. If a body feels unsafe it will look for a way to create safety. Sometimes this manifests as mental illness. But I don’t see this as a bad thing. I teach my clients that their body has worked really hard to keep them safe so we must be appreciative toward it instead of angry at it. My methods are not completely novel but I like to think that in educating my clients about their systems I put their healing in their hands. 

Q

You’re also a Certified Coach through XPT (Extreme Performance Training), what advice would you give someone who wants to start a hot/cold therapy regime? 

A

If you are interested in contrast therapy I recommend starting with cold finishes on your showers. What does that mean? Well just start with your normal hot shower and finish with 30-60 seconds of cold water. It feels tough in the moment but definitely helps you feel rejuvenated by then end! As you’re ready you can check out xptlife.com for more instructions around how to do your own ice bath! 

Q

What does it mean to connect to your True Core Self? What’s the first step in getting there?

A

I don’t usually refer to the “True Core Self” but I do talk with my clients about their “real self”, this can be found when we slow down and actually listen to what our bodies are telling us in the moment. We oftentimes make so many decisions out of reflex instead of connecting to what our real self is telling us. 

Typically I will lead clients through a mindfulness exercise to help them engage with this deeper part of themselves so that they can begin to listen to what they actually want. 

Q

We live in a highly connected world of social media where you can spend hours (consciously or unconsciously) comparing yourself to others. Do you think this type of constant social media connection and comparison contributes to feelings of stress and anxiety? 

A

Yes, I would say it does. I think it is imperative to create structure and boundaries for ourselves around social media. Every good relationship has boundaries and social media is not excluded from that phrase. I believe we must become more conscious of how our environment impacts us and that includes our digital environment. 

Q

What are a few tips you would give to someone experiencing this type of chronic stress or anxiety?

A

Connect to a mindfulness activity that works for you. Whether it is walking, meditation, breath work, journaling, etc. Whatever is it, practice something that you can stick to so that you can help your brain feel more calm. This will help you regulate your chronic stress and anxiety. 

I also recommend working with a professional to help you learn how to restructure and reprogram your anxious thoughts. 

Q

Speaking of our phones, do you have tips for getting our screen time down?

A

One way to create more structure for yourself and reduce your screen time  is to charge your phone outside of your bedroom and make sure that you get some sunshine before you dive into your notifications. Oftentimes I notice that my most anxious clients spend time on their phone before bed or right upon waking up and this can cause anxiety to creep into their daily routine. It is tough to not respond to a text or email as soon as you see it which in turn can initiate a cascade of unwanted activity. As I said previously, every healthy relationship has boundaries and our relationship to technology must be kept in check. I believe this can give you a sense of autonomy and choice which in turn allows you to experience a potential improvement upon your mental health. Try charging your phone outside of your bedroom this week and see if it changes your state at all. 

Q

Can someone access your services even if they don’t live in Denver?

A

Yes! I have an online program and I can do distance coaching for mental wellness or breath work. If anyone is interested in working with me they can contact me through my website wwww.truecorehealth.com or they can contact me over social media at @truecorehealth.

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