One of the easiest ways to counteract stress and force your body and mind to relax is by doing breathing exercises.
They are easy to do and what I love best about them is that you can do them anytime, anywhere.
I want to introduce you to two different breathing exercises that accomplish two different things.
Both of them will help you de-stress and relax.
Use them frequently.
In fact, try them out right now and make it a point to practice them regularly until you can perform them anywhere, no matter how loud and distracting the situation.
They will become helpful tools that you can use as needed in your stressful life.
The Breath Counting Meditation
Meditation is a great tool for calming down and reducing the side effects of stress.
This particular exercise will help you in the long run, but it isn’t something you want to do in the moment when you’re feeling super stressed.
Look for the second exercise for those scenarios.
Instead, find a calm moment every day and spend a few minutes breath counting.
The idea is deceptively simple.
Sit down, close your eyes, and start breathing slowly.
Focus on your breath and start counting on each exhale.
Count to five and then start over.
You know you’ve gotten distracted when you find yourself counting into the teens. Go back to one and start over.
With practice, you’ll be able to stick to the repeated five count for longer periods of time.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise
This exercise is a great go-to when you’re feeling stressed in the moment.
It forces your body to relax almost instantly. The key is getting the timing right. Here’s how to do it.
Exhale completely through your mouth.
Then start inhaling through the nose for a count of four. Hold the breath for a count of seven before exhaling slowly through the mouth for a count of eight.
Take four or five breaths like this before returning to your normal breathing.
Don’t overdo it and pace yourself.
Stick to a few breaths once a day and work up from there.
Eventually, you can take up to 10 breaths as needed when the stress gets bad and you need to calm down your nervous system.
The end result is not only instant calm, but more focus, more patience, and an overall better outlook on life.
Ready to outsmart stress?
Make these breathing exercises daily habits starting right now!
Start with the two simple exercises I shared with you here and then expand your horizon as needed.
Try different breathing techniques and exercises.
A quick Google search will give you plenty of others to try.
Find the ones that work best for you and make them part of your daily anti-stress routines.