Stress comes in many shapes and forms, but no matter how you experience it, it is overwhelming and probably unhealthy. Too much stress can lead to physical, mental, and psychological health issues that will only get worse over time. If you feel like you are about to collapse under the weight of a mountain of stress, there is one thing you can do right now to give yourself a little bit of relief: breathing exercises for stress management.
Breathing Exercises for Stress Management
All you need to do is take a big breath in. Hold it for a few seconds. Now let it out. You may already feel a bit calmer! This might be a good thing to practice every day for a few minutes. Below, you will find more calming breath exercises recommended by your local pulmonologist in NYC.
Are you a visual learner? You may benefit from having a picture in your mind while you practice breathing. Picture an image, a word, a phrase, or a moment in your head that makes you feel calm. It can be an affirmation of your self-worth, or an image of a place that makes you feel totally relaxed. Then:
- Lie down or sit with your back supported in a comfortable position.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Focus on the image in your mind while you breathe slowly.
- Practice this at least 3-4 times, as many times per day as you wish.
When you are anxious, you tend to take short and shallow breaths. This can actually make your body feel more anxious while also getting rid of the energy it takes to keep breathing that way in order to supply oxygen to your entire body. One of the most difficult things about learning how to do breathing exercises is remembering to breathe slowly:
- Get in a comfortable position while either lying down or sitting.
- Breathe in through your nose and continue breathing in until the air is in your belly.
- Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.
- Feel your belly rise as you breathe in and lower as you breathe out.
- Keep breathing until you feel calm.
Start practicing your breathing exercise just a few minutes a day. Eventually, you may find this technique to be an effective way to reduce immediate stress.
Try to get in the habit of breathing when you first wake up as a way to help your body feel refreshed and invigorated. It can also set the standard for how you should feel throughout the rest of the day. This can help you get relief from any soreness or stiffness you may feel in the morning. Try these steps:
- Stand up and then bend forward in an attempt to touch your toes.
- Bend your knees from the waist and let your arms hang towards the floor.
- Breathe in deeply, hold your breath for a few seconds, and then breathe out.
Repeat this exercise until you feel that the tension in your body has gone away. This can help you remain calm throughout the rest of the day.
Practice Better Breathing Health Today!
Dr. Mayank Shukla and your experts at New York’s top asthma and sleep institute can provide effective treatment plans for the breathing conditions you may develop as a result of stress. Anxiety and fear play a huge part in the development of physical and mental health conditions, and it is important to address these symptoms as soon as they appear. Learn more about the many ways in which we can help you breathe easier. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation!