Articles about Stress

Deep Breathing for Relaxation and Stress Management

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. We need to find ways to relieve this stress so it’s effects don’t adversely impact ourselves and those around us. One of the easiest, and most highly effective,  ways to manage stress is by practicing proper deep breathing.

What is Deep Breathing and Why is it Important?

Deep breathing is a wonderful antidote to stress, a creator of calm and very easy to learn and implement into your daily routines. It is more convenient than similar alternatives like doing something/anything with your fingers, definitely more preferable than pinching yourself and certainly less quiet than jumping jacks.

Stress is a disruptive force that can permeate into so many areas of your life.  It can deprive you of sleep, raise your blood pressure and damage your immune system. If not addressed properly it can contribute to far more serious outcomes, even including death. Deep breathing helps to counter all of that and the resulting reduction of stress can significantly contribute to a more pleasant day and a longer more joyful life.

Here is the list of (3) deep breathing exercises that will start you on a path towards a stronger, happier and healthier future.

Equal Breathing

Equal breathing is surely the simplest breathing technique on this list. As long as you can count to ten, you will have no problems.

  1. Inhale through nose and silently count to four.
  2. Exhale through the nose and silently count to four.
  3. Repeat
  4. When mastered, try counting to six, eight, and ten for both breaths.

Belly Breathing

Belly breathing is also quite simple. To start . . .

  1. Lie flat in a comfortable position. You can also sit.
  2. Put a hand on your abdomen below your ribs and the other one on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly lift your hand up. Make sure your chest does not move.
  4. Exhale through tight lips as if you were whistling. Watch the hand on your stomach go down and use it to push air out.
  5. Do this breathing exercise 3 to 10 times. Take your time, rushing doesn’t help.

4-7-8 Breathing

4-7-8 breathing is a mix of Belly Breathing and Equal Breathing, designed to work like Equal Breathing in the Belly Breathing position.

  1. Lie flat in a comfortable position. You can also sit. (step 1 of Belly Breathing)
  2. Put a hand on your abdomen below your ribs and the other one on your chest. (step 2 of Belly Breathing)
  3. Inhale through nose and silently count to four. Feel your belly move. (step 1 of Equal Breathing)
  4. Hold your breath for seven seconds (no cheating).
  5. Breathe out quietly for eight seconds. Make sure by ‘eight’ you are completely out of air.
  6. Repeat (no cheating).

Proper deep breathing is an excellent means of maintaining a nice soothing balance between your mind and body. When properly, and consistently, implemented you’ll begin to notice an overall improvement in your daily outlook. It will manifest itself in increased patience, thoughtfulness, empathy and overall awareness of your surroundings. You’ll notice a positive impact on others as you become more calm and collected. Deep breathing can truly improve your quality of life.

Some other reading you might find helpful includes:

4 replies »

Tell us what you think!