Just stop.... take a deep breath.... allow that breath to move all the way down into your stomach and then slowly release all the air from your lungs.
Breathing is a wonderful source of stress relief and it is free!
With all the techniques we will be covering; you will need to sit up tall to allow your breath to flow easily through your body, you will also need to do Belly Breathing - meaning you take the breath into the belly keeping your chest and shoulders completely relaxed. You shouldn't feel any tightness in the chest when breathing this way and it may take a little practice before it starts to feel normal.
So let's look at some breathing techniques that you can use to help calm your nervous system, quiet your mind and find some inner peace.
This is the breathing we can do at any time of the day no matter where we are or what we are doing. Just like water, we can take this technique with us when driving, working, looking after children etc... This breathing technique calms the mind and takes the edge off in real time. There are several water breathing techniques, however we are going to hi-light two.
Even Breathing: Inhale for 4 / Exhale for 4
Breathing through your nose, your breath should be slow, even and deep. The count of 4 is at your own rhythm so that you can fill your lungs, feeling your belly float up whilst keeping your shoulders and chest completely relaxed.
Square Breathing: Inhale for 4 / Hold for 4 / Exhale for 4 / Hold for 4
This technique is the same as the Even Breathing but with the hold. Holding your breath on the inhale allows the body to absorb the oxygen more and then holding on the exhale allows the body to sink into a deeper calm.
As you would assume, this is not a breathing technique for anytime anywhere and that is because these techniques are highly relaxing and aide with sleep. Therefore these two techniques are for when you are ready for bed and want to get some zzz's.
Double Exhale: Inhale for 4 / Exhale for 8
Take your breath in again for a count of 4 but this time, elongate the exhale for double the time. Exhale slowly in a controlled way to use all the counts to exhale. If 8 counts is too difficult then speed up your counts until it feels comfortable and you can still keep within the 4 in and 8 out format. Exhaling is the body's way of releasing tension so by increasing the length of the exhale, the body automatically begins to let go of stress.
4-7-8: Inhale for 4 / Hold for 7 / Exhale for 8
This one is exactly the same at the Double Exhale however you add in a hold at the top of your breath.
I hope you enjoy exploring these breathing techniques as you begin to feel the benefits of deep breathing and calm.