The coldhearted reality is that stress is a silent killer. It brings your whole body into a state of emotional mess, drying out your energy and even paving the way for a series of health complications. However, when stress overwhelms you, all you need to do is straight out your back and breathe it out from your system. Here is how you can do that:
Breathing Technique Number One: Equal Breathing
The stress can make you feel like a fish out of water, gasping for air. If you ever find yourself in that kind of situation, all you need to do is follow the instructions below to chase the stress away:
Instructions and Benefits:
- At first, try to focus your attention on your breathing, feel your lungs filling with air and then deflating (expelling the air from the lungs). In the beginning you will feel a bit distracted, but do not pay attention to it. As soon as you discover you have lost track of counting breaths, just go back and start counting again.
- You will do this by counting to four while you inhale and then count to four as well as you exhale through your nose. If this is not comfortable to you, then change the number, but make sure that the number is at equal lengths.
- Do this whenever you want at any time of the day for several minutes.
Benefits: It slows down the heart rate and brings the body into a more relaxed and focused state.
Breathing Technique Number Two: Diaphragmatic Breathing
The most powerful breathing muscle is the diaphragm (the thin muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen and which plays and important part in the breathing process). However, in a state of stress, the air stays trapped in the lungs, which puts an enormous strain on the lungs and the neck. This weakens the diaphragm and decreases your energy levels. Diaphragmatic breathing decreases the strain on the lungs and the oxygen demand also. Here is how it is done:
Instructions and Benefits
- Lie on your back in a relaxed position, keeping your knees bent (if you want, you can use a pillow). Gently place one hand on your upper chest and the other one on your belly button area.
- Breathe in through your nose and try to move the diaphragm, which you will feel as your stomach expanding and your hand will move upwards. The other hand should remain as still as possible.
- Tighten your stomach muscles to push the air out of the diaphragm, which you will feel as your stomach going inward.
- Do this whenever you are faced with a stressful situation or you simply need to relax.
Benefits: The technique reduces anxiety, heart rate and can even help in the reduction of the nausea instigated by motion sickness.
Breathing is one of effective ways to combat stress, but certainly not the only one. What I want to know is what is your weapon of choice to combat stress?
The Editors of PureHealthMD. “Discovery Health.” Discovery Fit and Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
Greatist.com, Jordan Shakeshaft |. “6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less | TIME.com.” Time. Time, 08 Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
“Diseases & Conditions.” Cleveland Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
Cuda, Gretchen. “Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
Shapiro, Ed And Deb. “Mindfulness Meditation for a Stress-Less Mind.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 10 Dec. 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
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