Breathing well to ward off stress
Duration: 3 minutes every time
Step 1: Take a short break
Step 2: Sit up correctly
Step 3: Breathe in
Step 4: Breathe out
Step 5: Breathe
Step 6: Imagine
Step 7: Frequency: Repeat this exercise everyday
Emotions such as stress have a direct implication on functions such as breathing, the heart rate, sweating, etc. Only breathing may be controlled.
If feelings affect our breathing, it’s also true the other way around. It’s possible to interact with our feelings through our breathing.
For this to be true, we should breathe in and out very deeply to let in the maximum amount of oxygen into our bodily tissues. Moreover, breathing amply leads to the relaxation of the intercostal muscles and the thoracic cage in which negative emotions, such as fear, are built up.
Breathing well allows us to ward off stress, efficiently. In fact, stress is a normal response of a living organism when faced with a physical or psychological aggression, but it all goes downhill when we lock it in. Breathing well allows us to fight stress off by re-oxygenating our bodily tissues and releasing tension.
1- Take a break
Sit in a quiet area where you can relax.
If possible, play some relaxing music and turn on an essential oil diffuser: use lavender or chamomile essential oil.
Allow yourself to calm down and breathe normally.
2- Sit up correctly
Sit comfortably while keeping your back straight. You may also lie down and place a cushion under your knees.
One hand over your chest
The other over your abdomen
3- Breathe in
Begin by breathing in through your nose, allowing your lower hand to move accordingly.
The hand you put over your chest should not move.
Make sure your shoulders are relaxed.
4- Breathe out
Breathe out through your mouth and blow out as much air as possible. When you’re done, contact your abdominal muscles to let out all the air still contained in your lungs.
Continue breathing that way and make sure that the hand on your chest remain immobile throughout the exercise and make sure your lower hand goes up and down.
Throughout this short break, imagine the tract the air is following, when you breathe it. Think of the oxygen going in through your nostrils, passing through your bronchia and arriving to your lungs, then think of the carbon dioxide, going the other way around.
That would allow you to focus on yourself and let go of your worries.
7- Frequency: Repeat this exercise everyday
When this exercise becomes familiar, it becomes easy for you to do them regardless of the circumstances thus allowing you to manage the stress in your life.
Ideally, this exercise should be repeated 5 times a day for 30 minutes.
You will quickly feel benefits of the control of emotions and the release of tensions that this exercise allows you.