Little did we know it, one of the most effective stress relief techniques is right under our noses. To manage stress, you can do breathing exercises. If done properly, it enables you to reduce your cortisol levels, which is a hormone produced by your body when you are under stress. It also slows down your heart rate and your blood pressure, bringing you a sense of calm. One of the great advantages of breathing exercises is that it can be done anywhere. In this article, we will talk about various breathing exercises that help you achieve deep relaxation and counter the effects of stress on the mind and body.
As you noticed when you are stressed, you are breathing from your chest in short shallow breaths. This type of breathing has the potential to increase your anxiety as you are less likely to get oxygen into your muscles. You can counter this by doing the diaphragmatic breathing which is the basis for most breathing techniques. It is basically belly breathing. To practice it, do the following steps:
- Try to sit or lie down.
- Then, deeply inhale and push the belly down and out. By doing this, your diaphragm is also moving.
- Try to hold it for three seconds.
- Now, exhale and feel the abdominal wall descending toward your spell.
- Repeat those steps five times.
Breath Counting Exercises
This kind of breathing exercise is also a great way to attain relaxation. To do this, sit in a comfortable position you're your spain straight and your head inclined slightly forward. Now, count 'one' as you exhale and the next time you exhale, count 'two' and so on up to 'five.' Then, begin a new cycle and never count higher than 'five.' Do this for about 10 minutes.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
This is a breathing technique where you alternate your inhales and exhales from one nostril to the next. Take note that your nose can control the size and shape of your nasal passes, which can affect the flow of air through it. Although we may not be aware of it, breathing naturally alternates from one nostril to the next for almost every two hours. Alternate nostril breathing helps to purify your nostrils. Such technique has been used in many yoga breathing exercises to calm the mind and body, improves focus, and aids relaxation.
Controlled Tempo Breathing
With the controlled tempo breathing technique, you can develop the focus of your mind as well as relaxes your body. To practice this, you have to align your breathing to your pulse rate and vary your inhalation, exhalation, and rest. In this way, you will develop better your breathing control and can be a great way to manage stress.