Reduce Tension and Stress with Belly Breathing
Use Belly Breathing to Stay Calm During Stressful Situations
During times of uncertainty and confusion it’s normal to feel nervous, mentally drained, and overwhelmed, but these negative emotions are only temporary, and don’t speak to who you are as an individual. Since we all experience these types of feelings at one time or another, it’s useful to have some quick and easy solutions to get yourself back on track.
Belly breathing is a simple way to quickly manage your stress levels. This proven method of stress reduction is easy to implement in almost any scenario. Belly breathing works by activating your body’s natural relaxation response, which helps relieve muscle tension all over your body, as well as lower your heart rate and blood pressure. This physiological response can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing, allowing you to stay focused and committed to making healthy choices that will reduce your risk of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
Try some belly breathing to quickly get back to calm:
- Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
- Close your eyes and mouth. Place your awareness on your breath and not on your surroundings.
- Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, making sure your diaphragm, or abdomen, is expanding and not your chest.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four.
- Continue in this way for a few breaths, or until you feel calm.
An added benefit is that by focusing your thoughts on the sensations of breathing, or even counting your breaths, you also help settle your mind. The next time you feel your heart race or your stress start to spike, do some belly breathing and feel the needle return to normal.
To calm your body and mind, enjoy these DeStress Monday animated breathing GIFs.