Breathing Techniques Help Reduce Stress
Relaxation Helps You Sleep Better and Stay Calm
Do you have tension that has built up all day? Do you want to relieve that tension?
Practicing focused breathing exercises can help you relax and provide much needed relief. We are bombarded
with stimuli every day and even when there appears to be nothing to get particularly excited about, we are in
a constant state or arousal. The result can be irritability, anger and anxiety. They can manifest themselves
through symptoms like headaches and stomaches. Relaxation breathing throughout the day, at the end of the work
day and before bedtime, can provide much needed relaxation and bring the calm you seek. You will sleep better
and feel more rested and rejuvenated.
How do you implement your breathing exercise? The first step is to find a
comfortable position. Many techniques suggest all sorts of different positions. Regardless of the method, the key
is comfort. Being comfortable allows you to be relaxed and when you're relaxed, you will breathe easier. Sometimes,
you can change positions during a breathing exercise. This will add variety and make the exercises more interesting
for you. Some recommended positions include: the prone position (on your stomach), lying on your back, sitting
cross legged, sitting on your feet with your knees facing forward, or standing.
Next, you want to implement a good breathing technique. Under normal circumstances, we tend to
take rather shallow, short breaths. However, for breathing exercises, you want to take much longer, deeper breaths.
This changes the amount of carbon dioxide in your system and puts you in a more relaxed state. To achieve this
breathing, relax your shoulders. Rather than breathing up and down, you will be breathing in and out such that the
stomach actually goes away from and towards your spine. So shoulders and chest remain stationary while the
stomach expands and contracts.
Your breathing should be slow and deliberate. It's a very good idea to
actually count 4-6 seconds for both the inhale and exhale ("one...one thousand...two...one thousand"...etc.)
Focus on your technique. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
The idea is to relieve you of stress so stay focused on your breathing and not your thoughts.
Breathing exercises create what is known as a state of active rest, much like during meditation. Your mind will
probably tend to wander on its own. That's okay. When you catch your thoughts drifting off, just bring your focus
back to your breathing. With practice, you'll find it easier and easier to master the technique. Over time,
you will be more relaxed, have more energy and have better concentration.
It is a great idea to visualize during breathing exercises. Feel the
stress releasing from your body through your fingers, toes and the top of your head. If certain parts of your body
are particularly stressed or sore, concentrate on those muscles and visualize each muscle relaxing as you
Breathing exercises provide a fantastic way to unwind at the end of the day, help you cope with
the pressures of everyday life and help you sleep better at night. When combined with good nutritional habits like
a healthy diet and high quality nutritional supplements, you will find
your health will improve and your performance as well. It is very important to know how to relax your mind, body
and spirit to counter the pressures of your active life.