Reduce Your Stress with Mindful Breathing
In our fourth installment of the Stress Awareness series, we are going to talk about how to how to reduce your stress by learning to breath mindfully.
Mindfulness is a very powerful, yet simple practice of being present no matter what you are doing. The more you focus on mindfulness instead of going through your day completely mindless, the more you see the benefits of it. One such benefit is by reducing your stress just by doing some mindful breathing.
Reduce Stress with Breathing Exercises
If you are on a mission to relieve stress, you have made the first most important step: seeking out help. Stress can impact just about every area of your life and should not be ignored. It can affect you mentally and emotionally by making it hard to focus and concentrate, taking away from productivity, and getting in the way of friendships and relationships. Physically it also impacts you by causing headaches, stomach and digestive problems, insomnia, and so much more.
Now that you know why you need to relieve your stress, you can start looking to natural remedies, such as with breathing exercises. This lets you practice deep breathing that can help calm and relax you, therefore helping you to reduce your stress. These same breathing exercises also work great with anxiety. Keep reading to get some helpful tips for using breathing exercises to relieve your stress.
Find a Quiet Place to Breathe: When you want to practice breathing exercises, it is best that you begin in a quiet place without distractions. Eventually, you will be able to do them anywhere, but it is good to start here in the beginning. It can be your office with the door shut or at the kitchen table when you wake up early in the morning before everyone else. Give yourself at least a few minutes a day to practice them.
Focus Only on Your Breathing: When you are practicing your breathing, you focus only on the breaths you inhale and exhale. Sit in a comfortable position and begin inhaling deeply, concentrating on that breath and how it feels in your lungs. Hold for a few seconds and you feel the sensation, then exhale slowly and embrace those sensations as well. Keep breathing in and out, deeply and with purpose.
Set a Timer: There are a few ways to do this, but when practicing your breathing exercises, it sometimes helps to set a timer. That way, you aren’t trying to keep track of the number of times you inhale and exhale, and instead can put your full concentration on just the breathing.
Try This Multiple Times a Day: You may only have a few minutes a day, but if you can, try to do this more than once a day. You can try them shortly before getting into the shower, if you have a couple extra minutes before dropping your kids off at school, or even while sitting in your car during your lunch break.
Tips for Practicing Mindful Breathing
Stress is one of those buggy things that try to enter everyone’s life at one point or another. It will try to grab hold of you in regards to your work, bills, relationship, family life and so on. Breathing techniques have been a great way to rid the body of stress since the beginning of time. You can learn how to do them the right way so that they eliminate your stress each and every time. Here is some information on why and how:
Why Breathing Works to Relieve Stress
The mechanics of breathing for stress relief are really quite simple. Whenever you take a deep breath, you cause changes to occur in your brain and in your body. One thing that deep breathing does is bring oxygen into your system. That oxygen then feeds your brain all the nourishment it needs to operate properly. A deprived brain causes stress, but a nourished brain can make you feel good. Another thing that deep breathing does is activate your hypothalamus, which triggers a release of relaxing hormones. Breathing can potentially relieve stress every time. You just have to get a handle on doing it so that you can maximize its effects.
How to Practice Breathing
If you want to get a little bit of instruction, you could talk to someone else who has been doing breathing exercises. That person can explain the process to you. You could also watch instructional videos and see how someone else does it. Once you have a good idea of how it’s done, go into a quiet room and try it. What you want to do is get as much air as you can into your lungs, savor it for a minute, and then release it slowly. Repeat the process several times until you start feeling the stress bounce right off of you and back into the air. It will work, and the more you do it, the better you will get at it.
I have created a quick and easy cheattsheet to get you started with mindful breathing. Click the link to download it: Breathing Exercise PDF.
When to Start Breathing
You have to use mindfulness when you want to control your stress levels. In other words, you have to get to know your body so that you know when your temperature is rising and so forth. As soon as you start feeling yourself being overtaken by something negative, you’ll want to counteract it with the breathing exercises. That’s how you can get control of such things. Once you master the art of breathing, you’ll be able to eliminate your stress within seconds.
Now that you have some information on breathing, you will hopefully do so whenever stress starts trying to get at you. Keep your head up and your breath in and out.
Need more help with your breathing and starting a mindfulness practice, contact me to set up a complimentary consultation!