Stress is part of modern life. In this race against time, often one tends to forget that he must give his body time to adapt; especially that stress has many negative effects on health such as memory loss, heart palpitations, weakened immune system, etc. Discover in this article 5 amazing breathing techniques that will immediately reduce your stress!
First, you must learn to practice abdominal breathing. This exercise is the basis of all other methods of breathing and it is essential to master it before moving on to the next.
- Sit comfortably, or lie down on your bed
- Next, place one hand on your stomach, just below your rib cage, and the other on your chest.
- Inhale deeply through your nose. The hand on your abdomen should press down a bit and the one on your chest should stay still.
- Now exhale through your mouth as if you were going to whistle. Direct your hand toward the inside of your stomach to help you breathe.
- Repeat 3 to 10 times.
When you practice this exercise, you will instantly get more relaxed. Besides, once mastered you must repeat it as much as possible, that you can move on to other exercises.
Technique 4-7-8 breath
- To perform this exercise, you have to sit or lie on the floor.
- Then, place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest.
- Take a deep breath, slowly. In a period of 4 seconds you need to inhale and feel your stomach move.
- Next, hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale trying to produce no sound and count to 8. The air must be completely expelled from your lungs.
Repeat this exercise as many times as you can, and remember to use the method of 4-7-8 when you have sleeping trouble.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, Harvard University (USA), this technique removes carbon dioxide from the body, which promotes a state of relaxation and allows insomniacs to fall asleep quickly.
Breathing technique to increase lung capacity
If you prefer to exercise while sitting, try this method. Besides relaxing, it will help you use the full capacity of your lungs. If you are a beginner, it is advisable to lie down in order to make things easier for the first time.
- Place your left hand on your stomach and the right one on your chest. Move your hands when you inhale or exhale.
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through the lower part of the lungs, keeping the right hand (on your chest) still. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
- You should repeat this exercise up to 8 times before breathing in order to move your chest as you used to do. This will help you completely fill your lungs.
- Now exhale slowly and noisily through the mouth and empty your lungs. Your hands will move gradually as your chest and your abdomen are emptied.
- You must do this exercise 4-5 times. As you exhale, feel the difference in your stress level.
You can do this exercise at any time of the day, but it is best to practice it in the morning, just after waking. It will help you relax your muscles after sleep and minimize the stress level for the rest of the day.
- Stand with slightly bent knees and gently lean the torso forward letting your arms hang limply a few inches from the ground.
- Inhale slowly returning to your original position. Straighten your head last.
- Exhale and lean the torso again. You have to reach this position with your last breath. Then turn up and stretch your muscles if you feel the need.
Abdominal breathing for muscle relaxation
This is the last breathing technique and the one that requires the most time. It is very beneficial and it would be ideal to combine it with other abdominal breathing techniques. It will relax the major muscles but also the painful and stiff muscles.
First, sit comfortably and focus on your abdominal breathing. Close your eyes and do the following:
- If you want to relax the muscles on the face, frown the eyebrows for a few seconds, then release.
- If you want to relax the neck muscles, bend your head forward and press your chin to the chest. Release.
- To relax the arms, spread them away from the body, stretch them and release them on each side of your body.
- If it’s your legs you want to relax, pull the toes as far as possible and release them.
Remember that you must perform these stretches in parallel with the abdominal breathing technique explained a little earlier. Breathe long and hard every time you stretch.
The deep, regular breathing allows more oxygen to all parts of the body (organs, muscles, tissues) which boosts their operation and helps eliminate toxins that accumulate, thus promoting a state of relaxation and well-being in general.