It is scientifically proven that human body has a natural stress reduction and relaxation response. There are certain techniques which you can practice in order to reduce stress in your life instead of just focusing on television or music. Deep breathing techniques for stress reduction are the proven ways to activate your body’s natural relaxation response.
Benefits of Deep breathing techniques for stress
By performing deep breathing exercises consistently, you can transform the way your body responds to stress. To sum up, deep breathing process is used by your body to do the following body functions:
- Lower your BP (blood pressure)
- Increase the nitric oxide (NO) levels in your cells, which, in turn, help dilate blood vessels
- Slow down your metabolism to make it more efficient and comfortable
- Lower your heart rate to make you feel calm and relaxed
- Slow down your breathing with deep and relevant breaths
You can do deep breathing techniques for stress reduction anytime and anywhere. You don’t need to lie down on your bed or couch to perform deep breathing exercises. These exercises will help engage your brain to experience an improved sense of focus, relaxation of the body and profound serenity.
Although you can do deep breathing techniques for stress anywhere, you have to perform it for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day in order to lower your stress and anxiety levels. Throughout this period, deep breathing will immerse your brain in the vital oxygen which your brain requires all the time.
During certain emergency situations, the mind tends to get into the ‘fight or flight mode.’ This involves the sympathetic nervous system. Deep breathing exercises stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which works quite opposite to the sympathetic nervous system. So, rather than feeling stressed and anxious, you’ll feel relaxed, calm, peaceful, and experience a great sense of wellness.
Top Deep Breathing Techniques for Stress Reduction
Following are the proven deep breathing techniques for stress reduction which you can practice on a daily basis to reduce stress anytime and anywhere:
- Visualization with deep breathing: This breathing technique is one of the best ways to reduce stress when you’re on the move as it only needs a few seconds to practice. You deliberately ease out the tenseness in your neck and shoulder, which is the area where most of the people tighten-up during anxiety and stress. Next, you take a deep breath and imagine that your feet’s bottom area has many holes. Visualize that through these holes warm, soothing, and the calm air is flowing up from the earth to fill-up your whole body. This feeling will relax your mind and reduce your stress levels within seconds. Visualize that your entire body is absorbing this warmth and relaxation. Perform this breathing technique many times a day when your stress levels elevate.
- Deep breathing using a stuffed animal: This breathing technique takes a little bit longer time than the visualization technique but it can be very relaxing. You need to lie down on a bed or couch and place your one hand on the chest area. Put the stuffed animal with your other hand at the midpoint of your belly. Close your eyes and let the muscles of your body relax sequentially from the top of your head to your feet’s bottom. As you take deep breaths through your nose, you also have to involve your abdomen in the breathing process to allow your stuffed animal to ascend and descend with every breath you take. Take in a deep breath, hold it for a few moments, and then breathe out slowly. Repeat this for about 20 breaths. Perform this breathing technique throughout the day when your stress levels elevate.
- Escape breathing: This breathing technique is quite similar to visualization, but rather than imagining holes in your feet’s bottom, you tend to escape into your mind by visualizing yourself in a calm and peaceful place. You need to make use of all your senses to visualize yourself in this place. Take deep breaths to remain as calm as possible and visualize yourself in some place other than where you actually are. For example, you can imagine a forest with the sounds of birds and rustling leaves, a beach with the crashing waves of a sea or a pasture where the cool wind blows on your face as you take deep breaths.
Ways to Fit Deep Breathing Techniques for Stress into your daily life
Although your daily life may be hectic, you have to find time to unwind and de-stress your body and mind. Following are some useful tips to fit deep breathing techniques for stress into your daily life:
- You can practice the deep breathing exercises even while doing your daily routine activities. You can perform deep breathing techniques while sitting on the bus or train, waiting for a meeting, while stuck in traffic, while walking around in your office or to the place where you have parked your vehicle, and while doing day-to-day chores.
- Set a particular time of the day to practice deep breathing techniques for stress. If you’re able to practice 1 to 2 deep breathing sessions daily, you can focus better with less stress during the rest of your day. Practice one breathing exercise session during the morning and the other session just before going to bed. It will help you de-stress your mind and body so that you’re able to begin as well as finish your day stress-free.
- You need to perform mindfulness techniques. It means you have to use your brain just to observe the universe around you without any criticism or opinion. It will help you fully concentrate on the present (here and now) so that your past stressors don’t bother you.
- Stay conscious throughout the deep breathing exercises. Although your mind and body should be relaxing, deep breathing does not mean that you should go to sleep. So, you need to remain alert and avoid practicing it after having a heavy meal or after taking alcohol or smoking. These habits may make you feel good only temporarily but will obstruct the deep breathing process and you won’t really feel relaxed and stress-free.
Practice deep breathing techniques for stress regularly and consistently to lead a relaxed and stress-free life.
Workplace stress can put you at risk for many diseases and health issues such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and depression/anxiety.
If you don’t get stress headache relief timely, it can become chronic which can weaken your immune system and even restrict the blood supply to the nerve cells.