Facing stressful situations, whether at work, at school, in traffic or in personal relationships, is something that is part of everyone’s routine.
According to the UK National Health Service (NHS), there is a breathing technique that helps people stay calm during times of stress, anxiety and panic.
The exercise only takes a few minutes and can be done anywhere, either sitting or lying down.
For starters, the NHS suggests avoiding tight-fitting clothing that may restrict breathing.
If you’re lying down, place your arms slightly apart at your sides with your palms facing up. If you are seated, support them on the arms of the seat.
Then place your feet hip-width apart. If you are lying down, your legs should be straight or bent so that your feet are flat on the surface. If you are already standing, put it on the floor.
Once in position, let the breath flow in deeply without forcing it. Remember to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth smoothly and evenly. Counting from one to five can also help, the NHS reports.
Finally, the health service suggests keeping exercise to 5 minutes and doing it regularly for maximum benefits.
Breathing exercises recommended by health authorities such as the NHS help, but the most important thing in combating stress is adopting a series of healthy habits.
Among the actions guided by the World Health Organization:
- Have a well-defined routine, with set times for eating and sleeping;
- follow a healthy diet, with the consumption of fruits and vegetables;
- Doing daily physical activity (including walking);
- setting the time on electronic devices (mobile phones, computers, televisions);
- Make time for social interactions with friends and family.
Some stressful situations also require professional help: a person should seek out a specialist in the field (a doctor or psychologist) and not take medication on their own.
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