Breathing Techniques to Reduce Stress
Stress is a normal part of everyday life. It can be beneficial, if it motivates you to make a change. Unfortunately, it can also be negative. If stress starts to affect your health, happiness and wellbeing, then it is time to make a change. One easy, accessible tool to help you manage stress is to work on how you breath.
Optimal breathing has many benefits. It can help induce a feeling of peace. It can promote relaxation and it can even improve your physicality. So, what is optimal breathing… Optimal breathing stems from the abdomen. Breathing from the abdomen promotes a richer inhalation of oxygen and a stronger exhalation of carbon dioxide. This chemical change stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which causes positive changes to the body.
So…where do you start! The best place to start is from the beginning!
-Breath from your abdomen:
Start by placing your hand on your abdominal region. Feel your stomach going in and out as you breath. Now focus on exaggerating that motion. As you breath in really push your abdomen out and as you exhale really focus on pulling the stomach back in. As you practice this, it will become more natural.
-Breath through your nose/nostrils:
Breathing through your nose heats up the air your breath. The hotter air moves more easily through the body. Breathing through the nose not only helps you to deep breath, it also helps to increase circulation throughout the body. This increases oxygen intake which helps to improve concentration.
Breathing deeply means taking in as much air as you can and letting out as much air as you can when you exhale. When we breath deeply, as previously noted, as the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, endorphins are released. Endorphins are hormones that our body produces that make us feel happy and good. They produce a feeling of well being. This feeling of happiness, helps to improve our mental stamina and mental clarity.
-Practice to improve:
As with any change in behavior, you must develop an awareness of what you are doing and consciously do things differently than what you usually do. Becoming aware, you will start to notice how you breath and actively stop yourself if your breathing is shallow.
Before you know it, your will feel less stress, more related and more energetic!
(information cited from Women’s Health and Fitness)