Have you ever felt stressed?
Stupid question, right? Everyone has felt stressed. When you look on the internet how to overcome stress, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, etc. it will tell you the basics of what to do. Eat whole foods, exercise, cut out toxicity and breathe deeply. Personally, the first three tips are easy options for me. It’s the deep breathing suggestion that I seem to push to the side for some reason and I am not sure why. Deep breathing is the one thing that can be done anytime, anywhere, repeatedly, for however long you would like to. So why does everyone suggest incorporating deep breathing into their lives?
Deep breathing exercises enable more air to flow into your body and can help calm nerves, lower pain levels, improve memory and retention, and reduce stress and anxiety. Other benefits of breathing exercises are below.
Reduces heart rate
Lowers blood pressure
Improves diabetic symptoms
Reduces the possibility of burnout
Better regulates body’s reaction to stress and fatigue
Isn’t it crazy how millions of people are prescribed medications to “fix” all of the above when you can take back control of your body and improve them yourself? Wild.
When you feel stressed and anxious your breathing pattern changes and becomes shorter. These are the times that you need to focus on your breath. Now that you know what breathing exercises can do for you, how do you breathe deeply?
There are so many different breathing exercises and the best option when you are starting out is to look up a YouTube video to guide you along.
A breathing exercise that I recently started practicing is from the book Think Like A Monk. The Author, Jay Shetty, gives a quick and simple breathing exercise that helped me relieve pain and stress when I was previously on a plane. I had a head cold, a lot of congestion, and landing was incredibly painful for my ears with the pressure. I started to get a ton of pain right above my eyebrow and wanted to burst into tears. As I am in pain, holding back tears, sitting in the middle seat, I had to think of what I could do with the extremely minimal resources I had as the plane was 12 minutes away from landing. I remembered Think Like A Monk and tried the breathing exercise that I had read about.
Here’s what you do:
Breathe in for 4 seconds
Hold your breath for 4 seconds
Exhale for 4 seconds.
Repeat this for as long as you’d like.
When I focused on my breath and did this exercise, my pain had gone away before the wheels of the plane had touched the ground! I did this again on my next three airplane rides and it worked like a charm.
Breathing exercises can be done before bed, when you’re driving, replying to work emails, updating spreadsheets, doing house chores…really anytime.
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