For many of us, the search for products that can help relax us is a constant struggle, but it turns out all we need are a pair of lungs and a little time.
Controlling your breath not only keeps the body and mind functioning at their best – it can also help reduce blood pressure and promote a feeling of calm. Many experts encourage us to use the breath as a way of increasing mindfulness and awareness. The following breathing techniques can help you keep calm and carry on…
Equal breathing (or Sama Vritti)
One of the easiest breathing techniques is all about balance. Breathe in for a count of four and then exhale for a count of four (breathe through the nose). Once you are comfortable with this feel free to increase the count to six or even eight. The overall effect can help calm the nervous system, reduce stress and increase focus. This technique is particularly good for those who struggle to drop off to sleep as it helps distract you from overthinking.
Put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates. Aim for six to 10 deep breaths to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. This technique is great for when you feel stressed, i.e. before an exam or presentation.
Alternate nostril breathing (or Nadi Shodhana)
This breath is said to calm and balance the mind while giving the body an energizing effect. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of the inhalation, close off your left nostril and exhale through your right. Continue this pattern, alternating the breath. Great for those in need of an energy boost, this technique can help you focus and feel more awake… and is much better for you than coffee!
If you want to find out other natural ways to relax or revive yourself, take a look at our Therapy Topics and browse the therapies.
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