We feel the pressure of anxiety and can feel overwhelmed by it. We can relieve this pressure by consciously using the breath to signal the body to relax. Here are three breathing techniques you can use to relieve stress and bring ease and peace.
This technique calms your mind and helps bring balance and grounding to your body.
Sit either crossed-legged on the floor or in a chair with your feel flat against the ground. Straighten your spine, bring your shoulders back so they are straight and raise your chest a bit. You want your heart in front of your head. Tuck your chin in just enough to flatten the back of your neck. By bringing yourself into this posture, you will be able to breathe fully and completely.
Close your eyes.
Begin by fully inhaling and exhaling, filling your lungs and allowing your abdomen to fill on the inhale. On the exhale, press your abdominal muscles against your spine to help you fully release the breath.
Next, inhale to the count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Exhale to a count of 4. Continue this pattern for 3 to 11 minutes. As you breathe, you may find that you can extend the 4-count to a 5- or 6-count. Do what feels comfortable for you. If you begin to feel winded, just come back to the 4-count triangular breathing.
At the end of 3-11 minutes, relax the breath and allow yourself a few rounds of regular breathing before getting up.
Alternate nostril breathing helps to calm and balance the brain by harmonizing the left and right hemispheres.
To begin, sit comfortably with your spine straight and square your shoulders. Tuck in your chin just enough to flatten the back of your neck. Raise your chest up enough that it is in front of your head. In this posture, you will easily be able to fill your lungs fully.
Close your eyes.
Position your hand close to your face so that you can block the right nostril with your right thumb and your left nostril with your little finger. The other fingers can just rest on your forehead if you wish.
1) Begin with a full exhale.
2) Block your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly through your left nostril. Pause the breath. Close off the left nostril and slowly breathe out the right nostril.
3) Inhale slowly again through the right nostril. Pause. Close off the right nostril with your thumb and breathe slowly out of the left nostril.
4) Continue steps 2 – 3 for three to eleven minutes.
5) Relax the breath, returning to your normal breathing pattern for a few rounds to finish.
Even Inhale – Exhale
Sit comfortably cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with you spine straightened and your shoulders squared. Tuck in your chin just enough to flatten the back of your neck. Raise your chest up enough that it is in front of your head. This way, you will be able to breathe fully.
Close your eyes.
Breathe evenly in and out, keeping the length of the inhale and exhales the same.
Keep your attention on the breath.
When you find your mind wandering away from the breath, just bring your attention back to your breathing.
Repeat for 3 to 11 minutes.
All these breathing techniques are helpful in helping you to relieve the pressures in the body when you feel stress build up. By practicing these techniques, you will feel relaxed and refreshed.