How To Use Breathing Techniques For Stress
Have you ever noticed that when you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you tend to take deep breaths? When you’re calm and relaxed, have you noticed how your breathing is often calmer and deeper?
Breath has a huge impact on how we feel, and it can make a big difference when we’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t know how to use our breathing patterns correctly to improve relaxation.
If you’re looking to minimize stress with breathing, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started.
Deep Breathing for Stress
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to reduce stress in the body. When you take a deep breath and exhale it slowly, you send a message to your brain that it’s time to calm down.
Your brain then sends this message to your body, reducing the feelings of anxiety and panic that may show in the form of sweating, heart palpitations, and shaking.
Breathing deeply helps to reduce your blood pressure and minimize tension. It’s also a good way to remove your focus from what’s bothering you. The key is figuring out how to manage your breathing correctly.
How To Do Breathing Exercises
There are various breathing exercises you can do to relax. One of the most common is slow belly breathing. If you’ve never practiced breathing exercises for stress before, start with this simple activity.
Start by sitting in a relaxing and comfortable place. You can also lay down if this makes you more relaxed. Put one hand under your ribs on your stomach and the other somewhere on your chest. Take a deep breath and feel your belly pushing outwards. Your chest should stay still.
Pursing your lips, breathe out slowly, as though you were trying to whistle. Feel the hand on your belly going in as you breathe out, and use that pressure to help push all the air out. Do this between 3-10 times. Take your time with each breath.
While you’re doing breathing exercises, pay attention to how you feel, both on a physical and emotional level. This will help you to become more mindful, which is a valuable tool when you’re working on stress reduction.
You can also add visualization to your breathing exercises. For instance, you can imagine you’re exhaling a red cloud of all the negative feelings and thoughts in your body, and imagine you’re breathing in positive things in a golden, glistening cloud.
How to Improve Your Breathing
After you’ve mastered belly breathing, you might try some more advanced breathing exercises. Alternatively, you may want to stick with the strategy you feel works best for you.
There’s no right way to go about things. Try to dedicate a little time to your breathing exercises every day, as this should help you to improve your breathing.
If you’re struggling with your breathing exercises, or not seeing the results you’d like straight away, consider some of the following tips:
● Use meditation guides: There are smartphone apps which can guide you through a deep breathing session, step by step. Sometimes, having someone talk you through the process is easier than doing it yourself.
● Add music: Relaxing music can help give you the meditative experience you’re looking for. Try to avoid anything with lyrics, as they might cause you to focus on the words rather than the flow of the music itself.
● Try aromatherapy: The right scents can make a huge difference in how you relax. Use lavender or valerian oils in a diffuser in your home. This is a great way to relax your mind and body when you need to calm down and work on your breathing.
Make sure you’re in a place where you’re not going to be exposed to any disruptions. You don’t want to be distracted from your focused state when you’re trying to master your breathing.
Use Your Breathing Techniques
Once you master breathing techniques, you’ll find it’s much easier to overcome stress and anxiety. All you need to do is get some practice and you’ll be on your way in no time.