Stress is now a dominant aspect in many people’s lives. It comes in it uninvited and makes all the changes we don’t want it to make. For example, we might feel more tired (physically and emotionally), changing how we live. There are many ways in which we can try to manage stress’s effect, such as being physically active. One straightforward and essential way to reduce stress immediately is through adopting the proper breathing techniques. In this article, we will talk about 3 breathing techniques to get rid of stress.
1- Deep breathing
This technique helps you take big and deep breaths to reach your belly, rather than short and shallow ones that barely get your chest. The latter makes you anxious and compromises your energy levels.
To do this breathing technique you need to start in a comfortable position. Try lying on your back on the floor or on your bed, putting your head on a pillow and supporting your knees with another one. If you don’t like this position you can sit on a chair, supporting your head, shoulders and neck by the back of the chair.
Breathe in through your nose, allowing your belly to be filled with air, then breathe out through your nose. You can place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. While you breathe in, try to notice how your belly is rising and lower as you breathe out. A sign of a good breathing exercise is that your stomach will move more than your chest.
Take three full deep breaths, allowing your belly to rise and fall with every inhale and exhale.
2- Breath focus
This is an extension of the deep breathing exercise. While doing exercise number one, try to think of something in your mind; a picture, a word, or a sentence to allow yourself to feel more relaxed. Then close your eyes, take some deep and big breaths. Next, breathe in, imagining the air flowing inside your body with calm and peace. Feel it passing through your organs. Then breathe out, imagining the air leaving your body carrying all the tension and stress with it. Now you need to incorporate that sentence into your breathing. For example, while breathing in, repeat: “I am inhaling peace and calm.” And when you breathe out, say: “I am breathing out tension and stress.”
Repeat this exercise for 10 to 20 minutes.
3- Equal time for breathing in and breathing out
The purpose of this exercise is to match the time of breathing out with the time of breathing in. with time; it will allow you to increase the time spent breathing in and out. Start by sitting in a chair or on the floor in a comfortable position. Breathe in counting to 5 through your nose, then breathe out with your nose counting to 5. Repeat this exercise several times. When you start feeling comfortable breathing in and out for 5 seconds, increase that time every time. You can keep trying until you reach 10 seconds of breathing in and 10 seconds of breathing out.