6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less - Deepstash

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6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less

http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/

healthland.time.com

6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less
Don't wait until fight or flight kicks in before minding your breath. Controlled breathing not only keeps the mind and body functioning at their best, it can also lower blood pressure, promote feelings of calm and relaxation and help us de-stress.

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Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”

How it’s done:  Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a c...

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Abdominal Breathing Technique

How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm inflates with enough air to create a stretch in th...

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Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the lef...

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Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath”

How it’s done: This one begins with a long, slow inhale, followed by a quick, powerful exhale generated from the lower belly. Once comfortable with the contraction, up the pace to one inhale...

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Progressive Relaxation

How it’s done: To nix tension from head to toe, close the eyes and focus on tensing and relaxing each muscle group for 2 to 3 seconds each. Start with the feet and toes, then move up to...

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Guided Visualization

How it’s done: Head straight for that “happy place,” no questions asked. With a coach, therapist or helpful recording as your guide, breathe deeply while focusing on pleasant, positive im...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Breathing and anxiety

Breathing and anxiety

We have become pretty bad at the most basic act of living: breathing. We breathe through our mouths and into our chests, and we do it way too fast.

Besides the health problems this may cause, breathing the wrong way may have another big consequence: contributing to our anxiety and other mental health problems.

How breathing can calm us

Instead of trying to think yourself out of feeling anxious, you can do something more specific: breathe slow or fast, in a particular rhythm, or through a nostril; this can work as an instant relief.

A regular breathing practice will help you feel calmer in daily situations, but studies suggest that focusing on your breathing in moments of acute stress could also be useful.

Breathing: stress vs relaxation

The way we breathe can set off a cascade of physical changes in the body that promote either stress or relaxation.

Breathing impacts the sympathetic (“fight or flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) branches of our nervous system, and certain techniques can promote more parasympathetic calm and relaxation. Some may also cause us to release hormones like prolactin and possibly oxytocin, the feel-good hormone of love and bonding.

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Breathing exercises

Breathing is at the core of ancient (and currently trendy) mindfulness practices, from yoga and tai chi to meditation.

However, studies suggest that breathing exercises alone, derived from those ancient yoga practices, can be good for the body and mind. 

Deep, controlled breathing

It involves filling the lungs to the max and goes by various names like belly or diaphragmatic breathing.

It has been linked to improved cognitive performance, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.

Breathing and yoga

Belief in the benefits of controlled breathing goes back centuries.

Central to ancient Hindu philosophy was prana, described as vital “airs” or “energies” flowing through the body. Stemming from that belief, yoga was built on pranayama or breath retention. 

4-7-8 Breathing

Created by Dr. Andrew Weil this is breathing exercise to help you relax: 
  1. First, let your lips part. Exhaling completely through your mouth.
  2. Next, close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to 4.
  3. Then, for 7 seconds, hold your breath.
  4. Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for 8 seconds.

This is one repetition. Try to do at least 4.