We all need a certain amount of stress. Without it, we can’t move nor achieve much in life, and we would most likely feel stagnated. On the other hand, many of us have also observed people in an uncontrolled state of stress, to the point that their energy levels collapse.
There is a solution to managing stress, and this can be achieved through practising breathwork. When you practise the right breathing exercises, you will notice two significant advantages in your day to day life.
The first noticeable benefit is the rise in your energy level, allowing you to face challenges more effectively.
It makes sense that one big problem can become smaller if you have more energy and focus. Most of the time the problem is not the size of the challenge in front of us, but that our energy levels are too low to face it.
Therefore, instead of deferring a current problem because you lack the level of vital energy, instead use specific breathwork techniques as an extra tool to increase your energy, which in turn will allow you to deal with the challenge more adequately.
The other great advantage of having breathwork as part of your daily routine is that you learn how to switch off stress whenever you need to. One of the most significant issues facing people today is that they don’t know how to turn off the stress when it is required and this imbalance can damage the quality of our personal, social and even professional lives.
Our stress response is also known as “fight or flight”. This is the body’s reaction as it prepares to confront or avoid danger. When appropriately invoked, the stress response helps us to overcome many of the challenges we face in life. However, trouble starts if this response is constantly provoked by less momentous day-to-day events, such as traffic jams, minor job worries or relationship problems.
From my experience, there is no better way to manage stress than doing breathing exercises. It is incredibly useful, and you have an extra tool always at hand to aid in improving the quality of your personal life, as well as your productivity at work.
MANAGE STRESS BY TAKING DEEP BREATHS
There are a number of ways we can develop healthier responses to stresses. One of the fastest ways is by breathing correctly.
There are numerous specific breathing exercises available to deal with stress, but the first step is to learn how to properly breathe deeply (diaphragmatic breathing).
PRACTISE BREATHING CORRECTLY
Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down and take a breath as you would normally. Then try a deep breath: Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you fill your lungs. Let it expand fully. Then breathe out slowly through your nose whilst gently contracting your abdomen inwards. Memories this rule, “air in, belly out, air out, belly in.”
BENEFITS OF DEEP BREATHING
Deep breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing or by its Sanskrit name, adhama pránáyáma. Shallow breathing limits the diaphragm’s range of motion, resulting in the lowest part of the lungs not getting their full share of oxygenated air. This in turn, can make you feel short of breath and anxious. Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange, which maximises the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, this can then slow the heartbeat, aiding in lowering or stabilising blood pressure.
“There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing. No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly” – James Nestor.