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Breathing exercises: be Zen in 5 minutes
Question : What is the stress management tool that you ALWAYS have with you wherever you go?
Responnse : Breathing!
Deep breathing is the easiest way to calm down.
One thing to do when under stress is to learn to check your breathing immediately.
- First, sit comfortably in a chair and make sure both feet are on the floor.
- Imagine that your feet are deeply “rooted” in the ground. Now check your breathing …
- Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose to your stomach so that it visibly rises, then breathe out slowly and loudly through your open mouth.
- Do it five times. Identify the area of your body that is most stressed and place your hand over that area.
Most people report a feeling of tightness in the chest or abdomen, or both, when they are extremely anxious.
If you are oppressed in both places, place your dominant hand on the tightest area. For your chest, place one hand horizontally at the base of the neck, for your stomach, place the center of your palm above your belly button, or exactly where you feel pressure. Inhale into these areas as you visualize all of the “stuck energy” and stress releasing and flowing through your body with your breath.
Sit quietly and breathe for at least five minutes whenever you feel anxious. A few minutes to collect yourself will save you time in your day as you approach your stressful tasks feeling centered and grounded. You can also easily use this activity to help you fall asleep at night if it is the stress that is keeping you awake.
Remember that stress management is like building fitness. The more stressed or “out of shape” you are, the harder it will be to get in shape. However, the more you condition yourself, the faster you will become “fit”. Going into a zen state initially can take more than five minutes. But, the more you keep practicing this exercise, the more you will develop the ability to extract yourself quickly from a state of stress.
After doing this exercise regularly, you can usually calm down quickly by resting your hand lightly under your neck. There is something very simple and calming about taking care of yourself that seems to calm us down.
A quick and deep breathing exercise… ..
Most people are constantly busy and on the move, applying stress management practices to everyday events is not only convenient, but serves as a reminder to be RELAX throughout the day.
You can easily relax during boring hours of the day, like a long business meeting, standing in line at the grocery store, or waiting on the phone.
A simple breathing exercise to start with is called “Square Breathing”.
- First, sit quietly and, if possible, drive out distractions outside.
- Gently squeeze your hands in your knees. Inhale slowly to five, hold your breath to five, exhale slowly to five, then pause before repeating this sequence for up to five.
- Repeat this sequence five times, or as many times as needed, until a calmer state is achieved.
Often times, we don’t realize how stressed we are until we take a few minutes to quietly check out how we are feeling. The body does not function optimally under stress, so implementing simple relaxation tools should not only improve your attitude, but also help you experience better health.