Breathing slowly and deeply into our belly can be instantly calming in stressful situations.
It works by relaxing our neck, shoulders, voice, and abdomen, and decreases our heart rate, as well as improving our spinal movement.
Here's some simple pointers to follow:
- Straighten your posture and relax your face
- Breathe through your nose
- Breathe out slowly over 4 seconds - focus on your belly retracting
- Breathe in slowly over 4 seconds - focus on expanding your belly
- Repeat as necessary
Everyone has situations in which they typically feel more pressure. Common examples that provoke nervousness, butterflies, a racing heart or other physical symptoms of stress include:
- Public speaking, such as delivering presentations
- Dealing with unpleasant people
- Exams or tests
- Identifying these situations and applying the breathing techniques will assist in making you more relaxed and quickly restore your resilience at any time.
- Insight Timer is a smartphone app and online community for meditation. The app features guided meditations, music and talks posted by contributing experts. The app made Time magazine’s list of 50 best apps for 2016. Insight Timer is free to download from the App Store and Google Play Store.
Calming breathing techniques – healthinfo.org.nz
Video – practice breathing
Calm - app for sleep, meditation and relaxation
Article – Breathing techniques for controlling stress
TedTalk – Breath – how 5 minutes can change your life – Stacey Schuerman