In our crazy world of today it’s easy for one to become stressed, anxious and exhausted trying to keep up. Between school, work and social lives, people of all ages are stretching themselves too thin, and that’s never a good thing. Sleep is a vital, irreplaceable part of our well-being, so to help yourself maintain your health and your sanity consider trying one or all of the breathing exercises listed below—peace of mind is sure to follow.
The Nostril Method
One of the more odd techniques, the nostril breathing method is also one I have found to be the most effective. To do it, place a finger over one of your nostrils and inhale completely through the other. Hold in the breath for a few seconds then switch your finger over to the other nostril, while exhaling through the one that was previously covered. Repeat this around 10 times (5 per nostril) or as needed to gain almost instant relief.
Perfect for anyone about to embark on a stressful situation, such as taking an exam, starting their first day of work, or even presenting a presentation. It should slow your heart rate and help you center your thoughts.
Count to Five
A more traditional variation on this approach is for the individual to simply sit and close their eyes while inhaling through their nose. The individual should count to at least five during this process, to make sure the breaths are slow and controlled. After this, release the air gradually through your mouth. It is recommended that you repeat as needed, just make sure you don’t over do it and leave yourself lightheaded!
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Karate Meditative Breathing
A more mindful approach is the Karate Meditative Breathing technique. In this exercise, you should sit with your back straight, head held high and eyes closed. When you breathe in, make conscious note of your belly expanding. Keep your shoulders relaxed and really “feel” what’s happening to your body. Once in, hold the breath for 5-6 seconds. Release the breath and repeat two more times.
After this, return to your normal breathing pattern. You should find yourself more aware of your mind-body connection—noticing how your body responds to breath.
While breathing is something we all do every day, it is often taken for granted and placed on the back burner. This is a mistake, as it is directly related to everything from our moods to our movement. So, if you find yourself exceptionally stressed or tired, try these out throughout your day. I’m sure you’ll notice a difference.