Stress is something that everyone deals with from time to time. Whether you’re stressed out at work or dealing with family issues, learning how to relax can be helpful. It has been proven that breathing exercises can relieve stress and anxiety levels and improve overall health. The key is to practice them regularly. Breathing exercises help us to cope with stressful situations and boost our self-confidence. They also improve concentration, memory retention, and even mood.
Rapid breathing can cause a quicker heart rate, dizziness, muscular tension, and other symptoms during a panic attack. These sensations may then add to increased anxiety. This thoracic (chest) breathing varies from diaphragmatic breathing, an abdominal rhythm that occurs when people are calm or asleep. Stress, especially among Americans is rising rapidly too.
This article explains how changing your breathing pattern consciously may help you regulate your stress and anxiety.
Symptoms of a Panic Attack
The symptoms of panic attacks vary from individual to individual. Among the most prevalent symptoms are:
- Tension, nervousness, or dread
- Oxygen deprivation, often known as quick breathing
- Insomnia, or the inability to sleep
- agitation or restlessness
- trembling and/or sweating
- Concerned about the past or the future
Top 10 ways to relieve stress with exercise
Inhale deeply. Now let it all out. You may have already noticed a difference in how you feel. Your breath is a wonderful tool for relieving tension and making you feel the least nervous. If you include these easy breathing exercises in your daily practice, they can make a significant impact and relieve stress and anxiety.
Before you begin, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Select a location for your breathing workout. It might be in your bed, on the floor of your living room, or in a comfy chair.
- Don’t push it. This might exacerbate your tension.
- Try to perform it once or twice a day at the same time.
- Put on something comfy.
The diaphragm is the dome-shaped muscle utilized in breathing that is placed directly beneath the lungs. This is one of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing or abdominal breathing, develops this muscle, and this deep breathing method fills the entire lungs with air.
Here is how it’s done:
- Place one hand on the stomach and the other on the chest.
- Inhale for 3-5 seconds via your nose, feeling your abdomen rise as you breathe in. The hand on the chest should not move.
- Exhale through the nose for 3-5 seconds, feeling the belly return to its natural position.
- Continue this breathing practice for 5 minutes every day.
The purpose of coherent breathing is to limit the breathing cycle to only five breaths per minute. This breathing pattern lowers heart rate and blood pressure, soothing the nervous system.
- Inhale via the nose, extending the belly to a count of five.
- Exhale to a count of 6 without halting at the peak of the inhalation.
- Repeat at least five times to complete a full minute cycle.
- If you find it difficult to inhale or exhale for this long, begin with a 3-count and gradually work your way up.
In Sanskrit, victory breath is called Ujjayi Breath. It’s also known as ocean breath because the sound generated by closing the throat sounds like waves smashing on the coast.
- Sit up straight, with your spine straight and your hands in your lap.
- Inhalation through the nose to a count of four, somewhat limiting airflow to the back of the throat on the inhale. If you execute this correctly, you will hear a sound that sounds like waves or light snoring.
- Pause for a second at the peak of the inhale before beginning the exhale.
- Strive to keep your throat contracted and exhale gently to a count of six. Pause for a moment before inhaling again.
This technique includes breathing through a straw to relieve anxiety and fear. If you don’t have a straw, you can pursue your lips on the exhale instead.
- Make sure you have a straw on hand for the workout.
- Inhale softly via the nose, filling the abdomen to a count of four.
- Take a short pause at the peak of the inhalation to insert the straw into your mouth. Alternatively, you can pucker your lips as if you have a straw in your mouth.
- Exhale slowly and softly through the straw until you reach a count of six.
- Pause at the bottom of your exhalation and remove the straw.
- Do this workout for 5 minutes every day.
Box breathing, sometimes known as square breathing, is a basic breathing exercise that comprises inhaling, exhaling and holding one’s breath. This approach is used by the Navy Seals to relieve tension and anxiety during warfare.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, extending your belly to a count of four.
- Hold the breath for a count of four at the peak of the inhale.
- Exhale via the nostrils for a count of four before releasing the breath.
- Hold the breath until a count of four at the bottom of the exhale.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
The Yogic Breath
The three-part breath, also known as yogic breath, is a great grounding method that occupies the full lungs. The belly, ribs, and upper chest are referred to as the three sections of the breath.
- Sit up straight with your spine straight.
- Begin by laying your palm on your tummy. Slowly inhale and exhale through your nose into your abdomen, feeling it rise and fall with the breath.
- Place your palm on your ribcage and slowly inhale and exhale through your nose into the ribcage, noting how the ribs expand with air.
- Finally, lay your palm on your upper chest and inhale and exhale gently through your nose into the chest cavity, feeling it rise and fall with the breath.
- Breathe into each location independently until you feel comfortable with each approach.
- Fill up the belly first, then the ribs, and lastly the chest on the following inhalation. At the apex of the inhale, pause for a second.
- Reverse the flow on the exhale, releasing the air first from the upper chest, then the ribcage, and finally the belly.
- Repeat this breathing exercise 5-10 times.
These are just some of the many ways you can use yoga techniques to help you relax and relieve stress and anxiety. You may find other methods more effective than others, but these should be enough to get started. Check out how Katrina Kaif battled her anxiety during the lockdown.
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