Have you ever tried breathing exercises? Thankfully, one of the easiest stress relievers is free to perform and can be done virtually anywhere. Keep reading to find out how you can use breathing exercises to reduce your stress levels.
Stress affects you physically and mentally. Mentally, it becomes hard to focus, reduces concentration, decreases productivity. Stress also plays with your emotions, causing issues with relationships such as family, friends, coworkers, and bosses. Headaches, sleeplessness, stomach irritability, and digestive issues are just a few of the physical problems associated with stress.
One of the easiest stress relievers is to perform breathing exercises. It is a natural solution that can help calm and relax you while reducing your stress. These breathing exercises also work well with anxiety.
Like swallowing, breathing is a vital body function that we perform our entire lives automatically without thinking. Our bodies carry out the reflex action providing the flow of oxygen around to all the vital organs. It is a well known fact that breathing exercises can help reduce stress.
Related reading: 7 Stress- Reducing Tips
Here are some facts about breathing:
- Humans breathe 12 to 20 times per minute
- Children breathe faster than adults.
- Babies breathe 40 times per minute.
- Adults breathe 500-700ml of air at a time.
- Teenagers breathe around 30,000 times per day.
- Athletes breathe 40 to 60 times a minute.
- The right and left lung lobes are different sizes
- You can live with one lung
- Most people can hold their breath for 30 to 60 seconds
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Breathing Exercises: Tips for Stress Relief
Keep reading to get some helpful tips for using breathing exercises to relieve your stress.
1. Find a Quiet Place
At first, it is best to find a quiet distraction less area to practice your breathing. It could be a room with the door shut or the kitchen table before everyone else wakes up for the day. Give yourself a few minutes every day to practice. Eventually, you’ll be able to do them anywhere.
2. Find a Comfortable Position
It is important to get comfortable. You can lie, sit or stand whatever allows you to focus.
3. Only Focus on Your Breath
Focus only on inhaling and exhaling when you practice your breathing exercises. Start inhaling slowly through your nose to the count of four, paying attention to how the air feels as it travels to your lungs. Breathe deep until all your body feels expanded. Hold the inhale for four counts, noticing the sensations, then exhale slowly through your mouth to a count of eight experiencing that as well. Keep breathing in and out deeply.
Whenever we allow our lungs to be filled with deep breathing, we place less stress on our minds and bodies. The longer we do it, the more natural it becomes, allowing us to call on it whenever we feel tired or stressed.
– Repeat Your Breathing
Repeat breathing in. Feel it right down until your stomach expands. Hold on to it and then exhale nine more times.
– Breathe Deeper
Keep breathing until you get used to it. Leave one hand on your stomach and place the other on your chest, feeling it expand and retract.
– Expand Your Lungs
When you feel you can’t go any further, breathe in some more until you fill the tops of your lungs. Try to keep your inhalations and exhalations the same length, about eight counts, each without holding your breath in between.
When you exhale, let the old air out from your chest, then from your stomach. This will allow you to relax.
Related reading: How Self-Care Can Help You Improve Your Health
4. Set a Time Limit
It can help to set a timer when you practice your breathing exercises. That way, you can concentrate only on your breathing instead of counting the number of times you inhale or exhale. It can be two, five, or ten minutes or whatever you choose. There is no right or wrong time limit.
5. Practice Frequently
Try your breathing exercises for a few minutes, multiple times a day. You can try them when you are waiting for your kids, on your lunch break, or any time you have a few minutes to yourself.
Last Words on Breathing Exercises
Although there are many ways to reduce stress, breathing exercises provide a quick, simple, easy to perform method. How do you relieve your stress?
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