Don’t believe that something so simple as deep breathing could make such a difference? We all find ourselves in stressful situations from time to time, or perhaps a stressful period at work or at home. For some of us, it’s easy to brush it off but for others (like me), we let it get to us. Here are 5 steps to deep breathing you can use to help relax in stressful situations!
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Of course exercise and adequate sleep are great stress-fighters but there is an even simpler thing that can make a huge impact – deep breathing. In a nutshell, deep breathing increases levels of blood oxygen which in turn improve physical performance, mental performance, and even digestion. It brings about a better mind-body connection which improves overall health. And it helps to reduce all that nasty stress!
Think you breathe correctly already? Take a breath in and see if your stomach area expands or contracts. If it contracts, you are taking a shallow breath which in turn pushes the diaphragm up and lets less air in (another clue is if your shoulders go up while breathing in). If it expands, good job! Lots of needed oxygen is flowing deep inside.
Give this simple exercise a try. If done frequently, you can re-train your body to take deep breaths and even refer back to this exercise in moments of high stress.
From WebMD, give these 5 steps to deep breathing a try:
- Sit in a comfortable position on a comfortable surface.
- Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
- Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
- Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
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Every minute of every day you have an opportunity to focus on your breathing and achieve a healthier lifestyle. What a way to live loud and clear! If you practice the exercise, it will become automatic and an easy way to help your stress levels!