Unclench your jaw, drop your shoulders, take a deep breath and slowly release. Did you notice that your body was tense just now, before following those simple steps? This is what stress does to your body.
Sometimes it may feel as though everything around you is causing you stress. Whether it be your job, school, family life, or even the news. Anything can become a stress trigger if not managed properly. The last few years especially have been particularly challenging for most people.
Stress completely shifts your entire being and causes instability within your mind, body, and soul. It messes with your overall productivity and wellbeing. Being able to implement useful techniques to help you relieve stress when you begin to feel tense, will restore balance to your physical and mental health. Let’s take a look at what stress management entails and some techniques you can apply in your daily life.
What is stress management?
Stress management refers to a set of tactics and procedures that can help you identify your triggers and deal with stressful events in a way that maintains your life’s balance.
Stress management includes:
- Learning and enhancing your problem-solving skills, to overcome difficult situations.
- Strengthening your ability to handle unfortunate issues in life
- Implement relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation to recenter yourself during times of high stress.
Why deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body
Breathing exercises are a powerful tool for relieving stress and anxiety. Think back to the start of the blog and how you felt after following those simple instructions. The difference was evident just after one deep breath, right? This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to relax and calm down, which then sends the same message to your body. It is also one of the best ways to bring yourself into the present moment.
This communication between your body and brain restores harmony and brings peace back to your being. There are different breathing exercises that you can use in your stress management.
Some of our favorites are belly breathing, box breathing, and cleansing breathing. All three of these exercises engage your body as well as your mind in an effort to restore balance.
How to do Belly Breathing
Belly breathing is one of the breathing techniques that you can use to help manage stress. Here’s how:
- Place one hand on your belly, just below your rib cage.
- Inhale deeply through your nose for five counts, bring the air past your lungs to the belly, allow the belly to expand like a balloon.
- Hold your breath for two counts.
- Exhale through your nose slowly, for 7 counts. You should feel your belly contract when you exhale.
Did you feel the stress and tension begin to leave your body? Repeat this technique for as long as you need to feel recentered.
How to do Box Breathing
Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is another simple yet effective breathing technique that you can use. It takes its name from the fact that you count to four with each breath. This count distracts your mind while calming your nervous system and returning your breathing to a relaxed pattern.
- For this technique, you may sit, stand or lay flat on your back. Inhale and exhale through the nose.
- Inhale, counting slowly in your mind for four counts, bring the breath deep into the body.
- Hold your breath for another four counts. Try to avoid releasing the breath before the four seconds are up.
- Slowly exhale for four counts.
- Hold the breath at the bottom for four counts.
- Inhale and repeat for four counts.
- Continue as many times as you need.
How to do Cleansing Breathing
The final breathing exercise we will look at is the Cleansing Breath. The cleansing breath is awesome for relieving tension in your neck, shoulders, and body overall. Aside from breathing deeply, the cleansing breath is a way to get you to focus your energy on releasing the stress while inviting love and positive energy into your body.
Engage your mind and spirit as you do this exercise.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose, slowly taking in as much air as you comfortably can. As you breathe in, think about the love you are letting into your space.
- Visualize the clean, positive energy that is entering your body.
- Exhale, through your mouth quickly, expelling any negative energy, clearing your mind of contrary thoughts and releasing the stress along with it.
- Repeat this exercise as many times as necessary to restore balance, remembering always to engage the mind as you do the body.
Now that you have these tools to help you with stress management, it’s time to start using them in your daily life. Stress doesn’t have to overcome or overwhelm you. With the use of these breathing exercises, stress can begin to become more manageable, and you can reclaim your life again. Remember, you got this!
The Positive Change Group is all about helping to elevate the whole you, so you can truly become your best self in every area of your life. Find out more about our offerings and products.
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