Breathing Exercises for Stress

Stress can happen for a variety of reasons. We all encounter stress in our daily lives, whether there’s a project at work due or a huge school exam coming up. Perhaps we have to have a difficult conversation with a family member, and the looming anticipation is causing stress. All of these situations induce stress in the body, which can lead to conditions such as anxiety, irregular breathing, or heart failure.

So, what can you do to calm yourself down during times of stress? If you find your heart rate or blood pressure rising, try practicing some breathing exercises to return your body to normal as soon as possible. Not only are these exercises great for your breathing, but they can also help the body develop healthier coping habits as well. Check out these tips for stress relief, courtesy of Dr. Shukla, your trusted pulmonologist in New York.

1. Reverse Hyperventilation

In moments of extreme stress or anxiety, our body reacts by hyperventilating. This means that we breathe rapidly from the upper portion of our lungs, unable to take deep, full breaths. This causes some of the panic-like symptoms to exacerbate, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, shaking, and overall confusion.

In order to remedy this situation, your pulmonologist in New York recommends that you use a calming response. Take long, deep breaths, as best as you can. Start slowly, inhaling for four or five seconds, then exhaling for the same amount of time. Eventually, your body will establish a response time that can slow the heart rate down.

2. Focus Your Breaths

Using a little bit of imagination can go a long way when trying to reduce stress and get out of an anxious situation. While you are taking big, deep breaths, make sure to focus the way you are breathing as well. This can be done easier if you close your eyes.

While your eyes are closed, imagine that you are breathing in light, peace, and calm. And when you exhale, pretend that you are blowing out all of the stress and negative energy from your body. Use this as a time for mental detox. Out with the old, and in with the new!

3. Try Muscle Relaxation Techniques

Relaxing your muscles, while focused on the physical, can also impact your calm breathing techniques as well. You may not realize it, but your muscles tense up when you are undergoing moments of extreme stress. While you need to put yourself in a good headspace, you also need to make sure you are physically relaxed as well.

The key to muscle relaxation is to actually tense your muscles at first. It may seem counterproductive, but it truly does help. Focus on a particular muscle group, and tense it as hard as you can while you breathe in. And when you breathe out, release all of that tension. You will be amazed at how much it helps to relax. Do this for the remaining muscle groups until you’ve worked your way through your body and entered a new stage of relaxation.

Pulmonologist in New York

Stress can impact your breathing permanently. Our pulmonologist in New York can assess all of the factors that are going on in your life in order to give you a proper stress-relief treatment that works well for you. It’s important to get your heart rate and blood level checked out as soon as possible, as increased stress can lead to many physical and mental ailments down the road. If you notice that you are feeling tense or anxious, be sure to reach out right away. You can always contact us online or give us a call at (917) 924-6383 to talk to our friendly staff members. We are always available for an appointment!

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