Using breath control can help reduce stress. Stress isn’t something we can all together avoid, it is a part of life but we can work on coping mechanisms to deal with stress. As I said before, I’m working on improving my health to deal with my insomnia battle and deep breathing has actually been shown to be helpful. When our bodies are stressed research has shown us that this can contribute to anxiety and depression, two other ailments I am dealing with. (I’m a mess I know.) According to the Harvard Medical School it is important to develop healthier ways of responding to stress:
“The stress response also suppresses the immune system, increasing susceptibility to colds and other illnesses. Moreover, the buildup of stress can contribute to anxiety and depression. We can’t avoid all sources of stress in our lives, nor would we want to. But we can develop healthier ways of responding to them. One way is to invoke the relaxation response, through a technique first developed in the 1970s at Harvard Medical School by cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson. The relaxation response is a state of profound rest that can be elicited in many ways, including meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation.”
Deep breathing is one way to help the body relax and to cope our stressful lives. Unfortunately, not many of us actually apply proper deep breathing techniques. We all want to live healthier lives and when we reduce our stress levels we’re helping our bodies. I’ve been practicing these simple deep breathing steps daily and use this technique when I begin to feel anxious, upset or cannot unwind and relax.
- Sit or lay down in a quiet place. I often will do this right where I am and just shut off the television or radio and close my eyes.
- Take a deep breath in, slowly to the count of three. Take this breath in through your nose, not your mouth. Breathe from your abdomen and feel your belly fill like a balloon and puffing out as you slowly breathe in.
- Breathe out for a slow count of three through your mouth. Feel your abdomen going back to normal as you exhale the air.
- Pause and count to three.
- Repeat a minimum of ten times to calm your body.
Try it and tell me what you think. Does it help you to focus or feel any better? This is a great technique to teach your children early on to help them cope with daily stress in life.