Imagine being seated at your desk, going through the essential paperwork and working your way through those excel sheets like a keyboard wizard and then suddenly, you’re pulled into a meeting and briefed about another project. More paperwork fills your desk and now you’re multitasking. Deadlines get closer and stress levels soar higher. There’s no escape. You’re trapped at your desk. In such a scenario, high levels of stress do very little for your wellbeing. So how do you beat stress in a similar situation? The answer is simple – Deep Breathing!
Deep breathing is very easy to learn and the best part is that there’s no restriction on where and when you can do it. You don’t even need any special equipment. It is a great way to lower stress levels. When you breathe deeply, your brain sends signals to your body to calm down and relax. When you do deep breathing regularly, you can reap all the benefits it has to offer.
Benefits of Deep Breathing
- Deep breathing calms the mind and the nervous system, triggering deep relaxation.
- It helps you increase the intake of oxygen which nourishes the body and brain.
- It lowers heart rate, respiratory rates and blood pressure.
- Practising good deep breathing exercises helps you fall asleep, soothes muscles and gets you in meditation mode faster.
- It’s a handy tool when you are tense or stressed during exams, interviews, meeting deadlines and so on.
- Deep breathing helps clean and rejuvenate our vital channels of energy and regulates the heating and cooling cycles of the body.
- Deep breathing also helps in relieving shortness of breath by preventing air from getting trapped in your lungs. You then have fresher air which makes you feel more relaxed and centred.
Breathing Exercises You Can Practice Easily
Let’s look at 2 very simple types of deep breathing exercises which are simple yet effective.
1. Simple Abdominal Breathing Exercise
Whenever you start feeling anxious, try this simple abdominal breathing relaxation technique. You can perform this exercise as often as needed. It can be done standing up, sitting down, or lying down.
How To Practice:
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your abdomen should expand and your chest should rise very little.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow the air out, purse your lips slightly, but keep your jaw relaxed. You may hear a soft “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
- Repeat this breathing exercise for several minutes.
- Begin with just 5 minutes. If you feel 5 minutes are too long, you can start with just 2 minutes.
- Increase the time when you begin finding it easier and comfortable. You can practice this multiple times a day.
2. Equal Breathing
Equal breathing is one the breathing technique which focuses on making inhales and exhales with the same length between 3 and 5 counts. Once you get used to equal breathing, you can do it during your yoga practice or with other daily activities.
How To Practice:
- Take a comfortable seated position and breathe in and out through your nose only.
- Count during each inhale and exhale to make sure they are even in duration. Alternatively, choose a word or short phrase to repeat during each inhale and exhale.
- You can take a slight pause after each inhale and exhale if you feel comfortable (normal breathing involves a natural pause).
- Continue practicing this breathing technique for at least 5 minutes and you can increase the duration up to 10-15 minutes.
Now that most of you are back in the office, we hope these deep breathing techniques help you calm your mind and reduce stress! For more tips on how to beat stress, check out Healthy Reads or ask a GOQii Coach by subscribing for personalized coaching here: https://goqiiapp.page.link/bsr
Do leave your thoughts in the comments below.