Have you ever payed attention how you breathe when you feel relaxed? The next time you are relaxed, take a moment to notice how your body feels. Or simply think about your breathing patterns when you first wake up in the morning or just before you fall asleep. Breathing exercises can affect your whole body. Deep breathing exercises is one of the best ways to manage stress levels in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. As you breathe deeply to calm yourself, your increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease. All the more, these exercises are easy to learn. You can do them whenever you want, and you d not need any special tools or equipment to do them. There are lots of breathing exercises you can do to help relax. The first exercise below-belly breathing-is simple to learn and easy to do.
Also read: This One Minute Practice Can De-Stress You
Practice these breathing exercises to manage your stress levels:
1. Belly breathing:
Belly breathing is very simple and relaxing. Try this basic exercise anytime you need to relax or relieve stress. For this, you need to sit or lie flat in a comfortable position. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move at all. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out. Do this breathing exercise three to ten times a day. Take your time with each breath.
2. Pursed Lip Breathing:
This exercise reduces the number of breaths you take and keeps your airways open longer. More air is able to flow in and out of your lungs so you can be more physically active alert. To practice it, simply breathe in through your nose and breathe out at least twice as long through your mouth, with pursed lips.
3. Alternating nostril breathing:
There is a reason we pant when we get excited or nervous. Mouth breathing stresses your body, while nasal breathing keeps your body in a steady, calm and more relaxed state. Tune in to your nasal breathing with this yoga breathing technique known as nadi shodhana. You should sit up, breathe in through one nostril while you gently block the other one by pressing your finger against it. When you exhale, release your finger and breathe through the other nostril, blocking the opposite nostril.
4. Lengthened breath:
When your body is stressed, it breathes faster to take in more air. Trick it into a state of relaxation by breathing out longer than you breathe in. Inhale for a count of three, then exhale for a count of six. You can change the numbers you count, but the basic idea is to have a prolonged exhale in comparison to your inhale. Slow, deep breathing like this, also known as pranayamic breathing, resets your automatic nervous system.
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