18 Jul Unlocking the Power of Mindful Breathing
People these days have a fast-paced life. All they want is to reach to the highest point of success. In this desire, they often do not have enough time to even breathe peacefully. Because of this attitude, they make stress their permanent companion. However, the hunt for success is not the only reason for stress. There can be stress due to work, studies, family and the list goes on and on. No matter what the reason is, stress is never good for your health.
What most people do not know is how to stay away from stress. A simple solution to this problem is mindful breathing.
Mindfulness: What does it mean?
Mindfulness in the simplest terms can be defined as the practice of meditation that can help you to increase your focus by paying attention to breathing. In other purpose, the main objective of mindfulness is to help you maintain enough distance from the thoughts and emotions that disturb you. At the same time, it also provides you the ability to observe these thoughts without actually reacting to them immediately.
Breathing Exercises for reducing stress
Breathing and our thoughts influence each other. Since, our thoughts are the core reasons for causing stress, you must practice the breathing exercises listed below in order to lower your stress levels or get rid of it completely.
#1 Belly Breathing
This is the most basic breathing exercise which you should definitely master.
How to do it?
- Sit down comfortably on your mat. Place your one hand over your stomach and one hand over your chest.
- Now take a deep breath through your nostrils. While doing so, ensure that your hand over your chest stays stationary.
- Now breathe out from your mouth, folding your lips such that you are whistling.
- Repeat the entire process for about 8 to 10 times.
You will begin to feel relaxed just after 3 or 4 repetitions. This breathing is immensely helpful to avoid panic attacks when you’re too stressed out.
This breathing exercise is somewhat tougher than belly breathing. You can either lie down on your mat or sit comfortably in order to perform roll breathing.
How to do it?
- Choose your comfortable position and place your left and right hand over your stomach and chest respectively.
- Now breathe slowly and deeply from your lower lungs ensuring that your right hand stays stationary. Inhale from your nostrils and exhale from your mouth.
- Notice how your hands move as you breathe in and out.
- Do this for about 4 to 5 minutes.
It will reduce stress level. Also, during this exercise, you would have used your lungs to their full capacity.
If you practice yoga daily, then you must definitely do this breathing exercise before beginning with your routine.
How to do it?
- Sit down on your mat with your legs crossed. Tuck your tummy in and keep your back straight.
- Place your wrist over your knees and relax your arms and shoulders. Close your eyes.
- Now inhale and exhale with your nostrils just like you do normally.
- Do this for about 5 minutes.
This breathing exercise provides 3 major benefits. Firstly, it will straighten your spine. Secondly, it will slow down your metabolism. Thirdly, it will make your mind stable thereby helping you to feel relaxed.
#4 Anuloma Viloma
It is also a very easy breathing exercise which you must do daily for about 5 to 10 minutes.
How to do it?
- Sit on your mat with your legs crossed. Place your hands over your knees and keep your spine erect.
- Now close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through left nostril till the count of 4.
- Close your left nostril with your index and ring finger and remove the thumb from right nostril in order to exhale.
- Now inhale through your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril, following the same procedure.
It can help in the prevention of ailments such as asthma. It also improves brain function.
If you notice that your mind is drifting away and you are not able to concentrate on your breathing, you can count your breaths to maintain focus on your breathing. This practice will empower you to keep your negative thoughts at bay, and gradually you will learn to manage your thoughts. Apart from stress relieving, breathing exercises have lots of benefits like it improves oxygen delivery in your body, relaxes your muscles, lowers blood pressure etc. Thus, you should make it a point to carry out these exercises every morning.