Have you ever tried a yoga class? Often, the focus is on your breath. The yoga instructor may have led you through several different breathing exercises to reduce your stress and anxiety. Didn’t you feel so great afterward? Have you ever thought about how your breathing is when you feel stressed or anxious?
When you feel stressed, often your breath becomes shallow, fast, or you feel like you can’t get enough air. When you slow down your breathing, you start to feel better. Bookmark these techniques to try the next time you feel really stressed or anxious. You can do them anywhere and anytime. They should start to help you feel better within minutes.
While you can do these breathing exercises anywhere, try to choose a comfortable place. At first, just try to focus on taking deep breaths. As you breathe in, your belly should fill up with and when you exhale, it should lower. You can also practice these techniques every day to prevent stress and anxiety.
Close your eyes if you can and just keep focusing on your breath. Imagine breathing in calm and positive energy and breathing out the stress or anxiety. This can help you actually visualize feeling better.
If you notice that your muscles are feeling very tense, try a progressive muscle relaxation. As you breathe in, you will actually tense a muscle group. For example, many people tense their shoulders when they are stressed. Breathe in and tense your shoulders as much as you can. When you breathe out, release that tension. It should feel really good! Keep going and try different muscle groups.
Another great breathing exercise is called the modified lion’s breath. In this exercise, actually pretend you are a lion getting ready to roar. Breathe in through your nose as much as you can. When you breathe out, breathe out with your mouth wide open like a lion roaring. Repeat until you start to feel better.
Try the 4-7-8 method. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and breathe out for eight seconds. Repeat as needed. This helps to reset your nervous system, which will make you feel less stressed and anxious.
Have you ever tried a breathing exercise when you feel stressed or anxious? Do you feel that it helps you?
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