It’s easy to get stressed and overwhelmed during this festive season, but it’s important to realise the extent of dysfunction that stress and altered breathing patterns can have on your body. Following on from our Quick Tips to Help You Relax and De-Stress we’ve put together some breathing exercises to help you take a moment to calm down.
Breathing Exercise 1 – Equal Breathing
This breathing exercise is easy to remember and great to do just before bed if you’re struggling to sleep. Very similar to counting to sheep, this monotonous counting and simple repetition helps you switch off.
- Breath in slowly through your nose for 4 seconds
- Breath out slowly through your nose for 4 seconds
Easy to remember, this breathing exercise should help you take your mind off whatever’s distracting you. You can increase the count to 6 or 8 seconds if it helps maintain a natural breathing rhythm and calms the nervous system.
Breathing Exercise 2 – Alternate Nostril Breathing
This is a yogic breathing exercise, and is best used when you need to focus on a specific task. This exercise will leave you feeling refreshed and uplifted.
- Hold your right thumb over your right nostril
- Deeply inhale through your left nostril
- As you reach the peak of the inhale, cover your left nostril with your right index finger
- Lift your thumb off your right nostril and exhale through your right nostril
- Repeat the process, alternating the inhale between the right and left nostril
Breathing Exercise 3 – Abdominal Breathing
This breathing exercise is best used just before stressful events, such as an interview, exam or meeting. The goal of this breathing technique is to prepare you for the stressful event coming up.
- Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly
- Inhale deeply through your nose
- Make sure you’re inflating the diaphragm and not the chest
- Repeat slowly, aim for 6 to 10 slow, deep breaths per minute
Repeat this every day for 10 minutes to reduce your blood pressure and de-stress.
Relaxing Therapies at the Good Health Centre
Sometimes life can get on top of you and it becomes overwhelming. At the Good Health Centre, we take a holistic look at your physical and mental health and can offer a wide range of therapies that can help combat stress and anxiety, including Osteopathy, Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Massages, Reiki, Counselling and Psychotherapy, and much more.