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Stress Management Tip – Breathing Exercises

Stress Management Tip – Breathing Exercises
By David Tomaselli

Controlled breathing exercises can greatly influence your mind and body, and is a very practical way of managing stress. By focusing on your breathing, you naturally shift you mind away from thoughts that may be upsetting you. It is widely believed in the medical community that regular breathing has a calming and energising effect on the body and is highly recommended for dealing with stress related health problems.

A very easy breathing technique that is used in some forms of meditation is abdominal breathing. To start off, simply close your eyes and connect your tongue to your palette. Inhale air through your nose into the bottom of your lungs. When done correctly your abdomen expands slightly. Hold for a moment and then exhale through your mouth or your nose. If you exhale through you mouth, your tongue will naturally detach from the palette. As you exhale, your abdomen will contract. Hold again for another moment then inhale again. Repeat this 10 times. If you start to feel light-headed while practicing abdominal breathing, stop for thirty seconds, and then start up again.

A common mistake is to breath in a rapid shallow manner where the focus is mainly around the chest. By focusing on your abdomen while inhaling and exhaling, you are promoting deep breathing. As you get better, you can control the amount of time taken to breathe in and out, as well as the time taken between inhalations and exhalation by counting. For example, breathe in for 6 counts, hold for 3 counts, breathe out for 6 counts, and hold for 3 counts. As you improve you will be able to extend the number of counts.

Regular practice of abdominal breathing will increase your lung capacity and help you to breathe more deeply. It will also become a very useful tool that you can use whenever you feel stressed, anxious or something upsetting occurs in your life.

To learn more about breathing exercises check out Cultivate-Energy.

For more stress tips go to Manage Stress.