Stress is inevitable. That’s a fact. There’s no denying it. So rather than getting more stressed about it, you need to know how to tackle it. The hectic lives that we lead today, where every minute of the day matters, we are constantly on the chase. Be it in office, college or taking care of the family, we almost always put our own health last in the list of things to take care of. As such, at some point of time many people suffer from anxiety or have an emotional breakdown.
Healthy experts will tell you that physical activity is a must to keep stress at bay. But if you really do not have the time for that right now, you can resort to a few breathing exercises that can help you keep calm. What is meditation afterall? It’s all about concentrating on your breathing, which helps to calm the mind and steady your thoughts. This is because when we are stressed, our heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure increase. So when we start to breathe deeply, we bring them back to a steady level and as such feel relaxed.
Here are three easy breathing exercises for you:
1. Count till four
Keep your work aside and sit straight (on the chair or floor) with your hands resting on your lap. Close your eyes and breathe in while counting till four in your mind. Hold your breath for four seconds and then breathe out completely in four counts. You can even increase the count to seven or eight. Repeat five times.
2. Kapal Bhati
Kapal Bhati translates to ‘the shining forehead’, referring to making one sharp with regular practice of this pranayama. Sit straight with your hands on the knees and the palms facing up. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, pull you stomach in repeated short breaths. Do this for a minute continuously.
3. Alternate nostril breathing
This exercise is known to rejuvenate the nervous system, helping you keep calm. Follow these steps:
a. Sit straight with your hands on the knees. Bring you right hand up and place your index finger and middle finger in between your eyebrows. Let that be the anchor.
b. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath in and out through your nose. Close your right nostril with your right thumb, and then inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
c. Close the left nostril with your ring finger and hold your breath for a few seconds.
d. Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side. Pause for a few seconds and then inhale through the right side slowly.
e. Place your thumb back on your right nostril and hold your breath for a few seconds.
f. Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly.
g. Repeat 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.
The best part about these breathing exercises is that you can do them wherever you are, without needing any props. So breathe and stay calm!