You may have heard people telling each other to take deep breaths when stuck in a stressed situation. You can try it yourself by taking a deep breath and then exhaling, you will feel slightly relieved. Breathing exercises are done for easing the nerves as it makes you feel like you are in a comfortable atmosphere.
Breathing is a natural phenomenon of calming your body, relieving you from stress and helping clear your mind. In this regard, let’s discuss a few of the breathing exercises that you can practice for fighting stress:
- Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is the first and foremost breathing exercises. It can help relieve stress unlike short snappy breathing that can turn you anxious. For deep breathing, either sit or lay down and then place one of your hands on your stomach while other hand on your chest.
As you inhale, take enough air to feel your stomach rise and when exhale, feel it going down. This exercise should be repeated for at least ten minutes and you will feel a lot better.
- Equal Breathing
Equal breathing is another crucial exercise. It can be similar to deep breathing but during it, the seconds of inhaling should be equal to exhaling. For this, you can be anywhere. Besides, you can try this type of breathing anytime when you are feeling anxious.
If you want to practice it, inhale and count for as long as you can. It’s recommended to count to 4, experts can do it till 8 and then exhale again while counting to the same digits. Several people find this exercise helpful.
- Counted Breathing
Another breathing exercise that doctors frequently recommend is counted breathing. It is also called as 4-7-8 breathing exercise. During this, you should keep your tongue on your mouth’s roof, behind your teeth and inhale while counting till four or at least five time.
Then, wait while counting in your mind up to seven and you should exhale for 8 seconds that is by counting till 8. This exercise greatly aids your lungs as well as your mind.
- Visualization Breathing
This type of breathing not only involves your lungs and nostrils that is your respiratory system but also includes your brain. Visualization breathing can be done in two ways. Either by imagining a balloon or imagining that you are releasing your stress.
In the first one, you need to imagine that as you inhale and your stomach rises, you are filling it like a balloon. Imagine that as you exhale, you bring out your stress. Alternatively, you need to think that by inhaling, you are bringing all the stress from your body into your chest. And, upon exhaling, you are pushing out the stress from your body.
- Alternative Nostril Breathing:
Lastly, it is alternative nostril breathing, which can be done any time of the day but is best if done along with yoga. For this, you need to sit in the yoga position and then press your right thumb against your right nostril.
Next, inhale through the left nostril for as long as you can and then place your ring finger on your left nostril and exhale. Continue this pattern from the right side again. This can be done anytime except before bed as it may awaken your brain.
Take home message
These are the few exercises that are commonly used by many people for relieving themselves from stress. You can practice any of them as a time when you feel stressful. These will not only calm your nerves but will provide you with a clear brain and stronger lungs and respiratory system. Follow these before you wake up and during midday to refresh yourself.