Breathing Techniques To Help Reduce StressPosted on: November 28, 2012Categories: LiveWell 24/7
For many of us, relaxation means zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day. But this does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. You can do several breathing practices such as deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, and yoga. Fitting these activities into your daily routine can greatly reduce stress and boost your energy and mood.
The Stimulating Breath (otherwise known as Bellows Breathing)
The Stimulating Breathing is an adoption from a yoga breathing technique. The aim of this exercise is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.
- Inhale and rapidly exhale through your nose, while making sure to keep your mouth relaxed and closed. (This exercise will be noisy).
- Try for a cycle of three-in-and-out cycles per second. This movement causes the diaphragm to quickly move.
- Keep exercise to only 15 seconds.
The 4-7-8 Breathing
This exercise is the simplest of the three and take almost no time. It can be performed in any position, even while sitting at work.
- Exhale totally from your mouth, while making a “whoosh” sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale softly through your nose to the count of four.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale completely from your mouth for a count of eight seconds.
- This completes one breath. Repeat the cycle three more times.
A deceptively simple technique originating from Zen practice, try your hand at breath counting.
- Allow body to relax and gently close your eyes followed by several deep breaths.
- Once relaxed, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
- Continue to count your exhales until you reach five, then begin a new cycle. When you have completely relaxed after 10 minutes of perform this exercise, you will find attention diverted and will find yourself up to “nine”, “eleven”, or even “sixteen”.