Stress Breathing

“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.”
-William Ellery Channing

In several of the previous posts, I have talked about confronting difficult situations in life and remaining optimistic.

However, I understand that sometimes that is more easier said than done. So this post is a little different than others. I thought it would benefit everyone if I actually listed some specific techniques life coaches recommend when dealing with stress. In short, this post will be a little bit more instructional than motivational.

This particular post will focus specifically on stress breathing techniques. Health experts say that breathing has a lot to do with our moods and how you breath can often determine your stress levels. While certainly not guaranteed, the following techniques have proved to be effective with many people.

First on the list would be the 4-7-8 breathing technique. This method is recommended for many different situations, including anxiety and insomnia. While scientific evidence is quite limited, anecdotal recounts are quite large in quantity. Furthuremore, there are no side effects so regardless of it’s fruitfulness or lack thereof, there’s no harm in trying.

  • Breathe in through the nose for four seconds.
  • Hold the breath for at least seven seconds.
  • Exhale through the mouth and hold it for eight seconds. When doing this step, it’s best to pursue the lips and make a “whoosh” sound.
  • Repeat the above steps for four to five cycles.

This other technique is one I read on www.webmd.com. This one does require an appropriate setting and attire so it might be a little harder find the time for it but many have confirmed its veracity.

  • First of all, make sure you’re in a comfortable position whether it’s sitting or lying down. Also make sure you have on loose, comfortable attire.
  • Put one on your belly and the other hand on your chest. This is crucial to insure you’re doing the method correctly.
  • Breathe in through your nose. As you do so, make sure your belly is getting filled with air. Use your hand to confirm: The hand on your belly should rise higher than your chest.
  • Hold the breath for as long as you can.
  • Breathe out through your nose.
  • Repeat several times.

This last but certainly not least technique combines two of my favorite methods, breathing and self affirmations. This one too comes from www.webmd.com.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a few normal, but deep breaths.
  • Once you have done that, relax for thirty seconds or so.
    Now breathe in. As you do so, imagine the air circulating throughout your body. Mentally, categorize the air in your mind as “the air of peace and calm.”
  • Breathe out. As you do so, picture the air that’s leaving taking your stress and tension away with it.
  • After breathing in and out in this manner a few times, combine it with affirmations. As you breathe in, say “I breathe in peace and calm and allow it to encapsulate me in every way.”
  • As you breathe out, say “I breathe out all of my stress and tension for the air to take it away.”

The techniques above are just a drop in the ocean. With proper research, there are hundreds of other methods that can be utilized during stressful moments, depending on the context of the situation.

But these three in particular seem to fit more a vast amount of stressful moments and are simple to do so they make for great starting points.

Have you ever tried stress breathing techniques? If so, have they been effective? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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