Tips to help you stay calm and in control
Let’s admit it, most of us have felt some form of stress or anxiety this past year.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help manage. One tool that can significantly help is breathwork.
Learning to control your breathing is proven to help reduce anxiety and manage stress. So you can move through the stresses of your day, we have collected 4 easy breathing and mediation exercises when you take a few minutes to reset.
1. The 4-7-8 Exercise
The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as “relaxing breath,” involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This breathing patten can: reduce anxiety, help a person get to sleep, manage cravings and control anger and stress (1).
To do it, get in a comfortable seating position and place the tip of the tongue on the roof of your mouth.
• Breathe out, emptying your lungs of air
• Breathe in gently through the nose for 4 seconds
• Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
• Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pressing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds
• repeat the cycle up to 4 times (1).
2. A Mini Savasana Break
Yoga classes typically end with 5 to 10 minutes of savasana, a resting pose that allows the body and the mind to reset and recharge. This slows down your breathing and is a great exercise to “reset” at home, even it’s just a few minutes in between zoom calls.
To start, lay in comfortable place on your back. Place your arms at your sides with your legs straight and relaxed. Without breathing too deeply, feel the rib cage expand and contract, the chest rise and fall.
Try to do this for as long as you can before slowly wiggling your fingers and toes. Bring your arms overhead into goal post like stretch. Bring your knees into your stomach, give yourself a big hug and roll onto one side in a fetal position before slowing coming back up to sitting position (2).
3. Deep Breathing
Next time you find your mind racing or getting short of breath, try this simple deep breathing exercise. Deep breathing helps to reduce shortness of breath by preventing air from getting stuck in your lungs and helping you to breathe in more fresh air. It may help you to feel more relaxed and centered (3).
To do this:
• While comfortably standing or sitting, let your elbows fall back slightly to let your chest expand.
• Take a deep inhale through your nose.
• Hold your breath and slowly count to 5.
• Gently release your breath by exhaling through your nose (3).
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