Simple Breathing Exercises to Relieve Stress


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When stressed, one of the first things to change is your breathing pattern; the resulting fluctuation in oxygen intake is one of many factors that lead to the physical responses to stress. By changing those breathing patterns, you can drastically reduce the toll that stressful situations have on your body, and often curtail the emotion to once again reach a state of relaxation.

Breathing exercises to relieve stress are simple, quick, and can be done just about anywhere. Although listening to soft music, doing yoga, or engaging in a healthy activity are all good ways to combat stress, they require that you take a chunk out of your day to actually engage in those activities. As you always have to breathe, changing your breathing pattern is one of the simplest ways to deal with stress in the moment.

There are several techniques out there, some more complicated than others. The simplest, however, is to take note of how you breathe when you’re relaxed, and then attempt to recreate that breathing pattern in stressful situations. This can take some concentration, as people don’t typically give breathing, or how they’re doing it, a second thought. However, it is one of the easiest ways to convince the rest of your body that it’s in relaxation mode, rather than fight or flight.

Deep breathing is another common, and effective, breathing technique to deal with stress. To start, sit down and place a hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Breath in through your nose deeply enough so that the hand on your stomach rises. Then, exhale through your mouth, focusing on pushing all of the air you just brought into your stomach back out. During this entire process, the hand on your chest should not move up or down, or only a very little. Repeat this until the feelings of stress dissipate.

For more tips on relieving stress continue on to 4 Tips To Relieve Stress Quickly and Effectively.

Sources:
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm
http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-breathing-exercises-for-relaxation