BREATHING EXERCISES FOR A HEALTHIER LIFE
Written by: Akhilesh Dev | Posted: September 30, 2019 at 5:43 am | Total Comments: 11
Imagine a situation where something very harsh happens, either at your workplace or in your family and everybody is overwhelmed, they don’t know what to do with the situation, and there is a person who is not overwhelmed, who is staid, serene and calm… this will be YOU! Calmness is a great force. If you are calm, you are strong.
Controlled breathing not only keeps your mind and body functioning at their best, it can also lower blood pressure, promote feelings of calm and relaxation, and help you de stress. While the effects of breathing techniques on anxiety haven’t been studied at length (at least in a controlled clinical setting), many experts encourage using the breath as a means of increasing awareness, mindfulness.
Now, here are three breathing exercises, techniques that you can apply on a regular basis in your daily life, and then you will become calmer.
- Equal Breathing:
To start, inhale for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of four (all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath). Calm the nervous system, increase focus, and reduce stress.
When it works best: Anytime, anyplace—but this is one technique that’s especially effective before bed. Similar to counting sheep, if you’re having trouble falling asleep, this breath can help take your mind off the racing thoughts, or whatever might be distracting you.
- Abdominal Breathing Technique:
With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions to heart rate and blood pressure. Keep at it for six to eight weeks, and those benefits might stick around even longer.
When it works best: Before an exam or any stressful event. But keep in mind. Those who operate in a stressed state all the time might be a little shocked how hard it is to control the breath.
- Progressive Relaxation:
To nix tension from head to toe, close the eyes and focus on tensing and relaxing each muscle group for two to three seconds each. Start with the feet and toes, then move up to the knees, thighs, glutes, chest, arms, hands, neck, jaw, and eyes—all while maintaining deep, slow breaths. Breathe in through the nose, hold for a count of five while the muscles tense, and then breathe out through the mouth on release.
When it works best: At home, at a desk, or even on the road. One word of caution: Dizziness is never the goal. If holding the breath ever feels uncomfortable, tone it down to just a few seconds at most.