Feeling like you can’t breathe? Feeling stressed or anxious? I mean, during this stressful time, I don’t blame you. I’m actually right there with you. But let’s try not to forget to breathe every once in a while. Taking a moment to focus on your breathing is one of the easiest ways to regulate your feelings and emotions. Taking time to breathe is often forgotten these days because of everyone’s hectic work schedules, family lives, social lives, etc. Even with all the chaos, taking a moment to breathe doesn’t take long. Setting aside five to ten minutes a day is probably all you’ll need.
I love taking time out of my day to focus on my breathing. It feels like a reset button if I had a rough day or helps me clear my head if I have a lot of thoughts flowing through. I have found a few breathing techniques that I think are worth sharing.
Re-center & Focus
- Deep Breathing. Most people are taking short breaths throughout the day. The deep breathing technique is very relaxing. Find a comfortable place to sit. Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air. Breath out through your nose. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Feel your belly rise and fall as you take your elongated breaths. The hand on your belly should move more than the one on your chest.
- Breathe Focus. This is a subcategory of deep breathing. Think of an image in your head and a word or phrase to help you feel more relaxed. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose and try to feel it throughout your body. Breathe out and imagine all the stress and anxiety is leaving your body with your breath. Now, when you breathe in, say the phrase you chose in your mind. When you breathe out, say in your mind that you are breathing out all your stress. Continue this for ten to twenty minutes.
There are plenty of other breathing techniques out there, but these two are simple and effective if you only have a few minutes out of your day to complete. Stay calm. Relax. Breathe!
Written by GUADS intern with contributions from www.webmd.com