How do you beat stress?
There are lots of stress-management tools out there, some of them complicated or ineffective. It’s easy to forget that one of the best ways to ease stress and anxiety is through something that’s available to us every single day – breathing.
Left untreated, stress can lead to overwhelming feelings in the moment, and result in health consequences down the road.
So let’s talk about breathing exercises.
Benefits of Breathing Exercises
Here’s why breathing exercises are one of the best short-term strategies for stress relief:
- You can perform them by yourself, anywhere, anytime. And, if it matters, it’s likely no one will even know you’re doing it.
- They are free and don’t require any tools or equipment.
- There are a variety of exercises to choose from and they take very little practice to perfect.
- Got a few minutes? That’s all the breathing you need for almost immediate relief.
Breathing Exercises to Try Today
While there are many forms of controlled breathing, here are a few of the simplest ones to get you started:
- Equal Breaths
The saying, “what goes in must come out” is quite literal when it comes to this technique. Breathing through your nose, you are going to inhale for four seconds and then exhale for four. You can then increase to a 6- or 8-second count once you’ve gotten the basic rhythm down.
- Relaxing Breath
This exercise is also known as the 4-7-8 technique and focuses on the following breathing pattern that you can repeat up to four times:
- Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your teeth
- Empty your lungs of any air
- Inhale for four seconds through your nose
- Hold the breath for seven seconds
- Forcefully exhale through the mouth for eight seconds
(Note: While the 4-7-8 ratio is very important to the exercise, you can count as quickly or as slowly as you need to during the cycle.)
- Visualization Breath
This one takes a bit of imagination. You can use whatever mental picture you want, but the idea is that as you breathe in through your nose, you will imagine that you’re inhaling peaceful, calming air. Visualize the air filling your entire body, and pushing out all the stress and tension as you exhale. Slowly repeat that cycle until you feel your stress subside.
Breathing Quality Air
With all of this deep breathing, Aprilaire wants to make sure you’re taking in healthy air. That’s our job, after all!
Check out the Healthy Home blueprint. It includes tips and easy changes that can improve the air quality of your home, making it even simpler to deal with stress in a clean, healthy environment.