3 Breathing Techniques To Calm You Down
The idea of practicing breathing techniques is often tied to some broader wellness approach. For instance we might practice breathing techniques as part of a yoga routine, or to improve respiration for a sporting event or another form of cardio exercise. These are perfectly valid ideas, and frankly it’s never a bad idea to work on your breathing (as strange as that might sound to some people). However, a deep breathing exercise can also have a meditative effect, such that it can be an invaluable tool for coping with stress.
A few examples are worth considering.
4-7-8 Breathing is a fairly popular stress relief technique, and has actually been referred to as a life hack for sleep – which should give you some idea of its calming nature. There are some specifics in terms of how to position your tongue (up against the inside of your front teeth). But for the most part it’s as simple as inhaling through your nose for four seconds, holding for seven seconds, and exhaling (making a “whoosh” sound) through your mouth for eight seconds. You can repeat this cycle four or five times, or as long as it takes to achieve a calm, relaxed state. And the thing about its being a hack for sleep is actually a nice tip – this one might just help you drift off when you lay down in bed at night.
One interesting piece on the idea of using breathing techniques to combat stress was actually aimed at gamers. Gaming may seem like a relaxing activity, but it can actually be very stressful and deeply engaging to the point that a break for deep breathing is actually necessary. The article suggested a few techniques but led with deep breathing – one of the simplest methods out there. All it means is that you breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth at a slow rate, stopping all other activity to truly focus on breathing. There’s almost nothing to it, yet it can be incredibly calming.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing frankly sounds a little bit silly, but it’s something that’s catching on with more and more people. None other than Hillary Clinton has actually discussed treating her anxiety via this method – and no matter what your opinion of the former presidential candidate may be, we can all probably understand that a political campaign comes with a lot of stress. There are various specific approaches to the technique, but basically it involves cycles of breathing in through one nostril (holding the other shut) and out through the other, alternating back and forth. Give it a shot and you might be shocked at the calming effect.