Many people are afraid to try new stress reduction techniques because they think they don’t have time. But with some techniques, you only need a few minutes to see the benefits. One such technique is stress relief breathing.
Take a moment to think about how your body reacts to stress and ask yourself these questions:
- How is my breathing different?
- Are my muscles tense?
- What are my thoughts like?
The answers to the second and third questions both depend on the answer to the first. That’s because your body and mind have an inseparable link to your breathing. Some of the most relaxed moments of the day occur just after you wake up. Your muscles are loose. Your thoughts are calm. Your breathing is deep and slow.
If your muscles, thoughts, and breathing are inextricably linked, it only stands to reason that changing your breathing can change your mental and physical state.
But why should you use stress relief breathing to reduce your stress, and how do you start? Find out below.
The Benefits of Stress Relief Breathing
To answer the question of why you should practice this stress relief technique, let’s take a look at the benefits.
Because of social stigma, it’s unpopular to breath with the diaphragm. Many of us breathe solely with our chests, neglecting belly breathing because we want to look thin. Since this type of breathing has been ingrained in us from the time we are young, breathing fully feels unnatural. Breathing in this manner, because it is restrictive, actually increases anxiety and raises blood pressure.
On the other hand, breathing from the stomach in full, deep breaths produces the opposite effect. Not only do blood pressure and anxiety drop—the heart beats slower, too.
Stress relief breathing gives you the tools you need to breathe in a more natural, healthy way. Even if you only practice deep breathing for a few moments every day, the benefits are noticeable.
How to Practice
To practice stress relief breathing, you will need to create a routine for yourself. At predetermined times (or whenever you can take a moment), find a quiet place where you can be alone. Take a breath as you normally would, so you have a reference point. Then, begin taking deep breaths in a rhythmic fashion. Breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat this process for 10 to 20 minutes every day. It doesn’t have to be in a single sitting.
Once you find a rhythm you are comfortable with, try relaxing further by picturing pleasant imagery in your mind. Adding a focus word or mantra can help, too.
Interested in learning stress relief breathing techniques you can work into your day? Request a free coaching session.