Have you ever felt so anxious and stressed that you felt that only medications could relieve you from it? Were you so stressed that you just felt like passing out? Most of us have and quite frankly, most people bank on medications and therapies for them to be relieved of this feeling.
Meditation or even simple breathing actually does the trick to most people. Contrary to popular belief, meditation and fixing your breathing patterns are part of the few ways on how you can deal with anxiety, panic attacks, stress, and even depression without any cost and hassle; they’re not just for show.
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But how do you rid yourself off of these feelings by simple breathing patterns? Don’t worry, because in this article, we will be teaching you a couple of breathing exercises to help you feel relaxed in just a few minutes.
Breathing exercises to help people feel relaxed
Some of the breathing exercises or patterns we will be discussing here might have crossed your knowledge once or twice. In fact, some of these are common patterns and exercises that is used in meditation and in yoga.
4-7-8 breathing pattern
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is part of the more used breathing patterns and techniques in relieving people from stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and even depression. The technique aims to reduce anxiety; moreover, it helps people get to sleep easily and lightly.
To do the 4-7-8 breathing technique, you need to start by breathing through your nose and counting to four (4). Then, hold your breath and count to seven (7). Lastly, exhale through your mouth while counting to eight (8). You can repeat this pattern five (5) to seven (7) times for the best effects.
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The 4-7-8 breathing technique is one of the breathing exercises that would give people who do it the following benefits:
- Reduced Anxiety
- Decreased Hypertension
- Reduced/Eliminated Fatigue
- Better Stress Management
Similar to the 4-7-8 breathing pattern, the air retain or retained breath technique is a technique that would help retain the air and will help your blood to obtain the best or the maximum oxygen from the air inhaled.
Shara Tiffani, Therapist and Trained Yogi, says that this is very useful if an individual is looking to achieve a better sense of concentration or withdrawal.
This breath is very useful if you want to achieve a sense of withdrawal and concentration, which are both elements needed to achieve a deeper meditation. Use this breath if you need assistance in remaining calm under stress.”
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To do the retained breath technique, start by placing one (1) hand on your stomach while relaxing your abdominal muscles. Sit straight and slowly inhale through your nose, while bringing the air to the bottom of your lungs. Then, continue to inhale as your lungs are expanding and your collarbones heighten. At the highest point of your inhale, pause, and then exhale from the top of your lungs to the bottom.
The retained breath method will help you get more oxygen, making concentration better; it reduces stress and anxiety levels, and better stress management.
Just like how it sounds, equal breaths is part of the breathing exercises that would be beneficial for stress management, panic attacks, hypertension, and anxiety.
To do equal breaths, start by sitting straight, relaxed. Then, inhale for a count of four (4), pause, then exhale for a count of four (4). Advanced yogis recommend that you can go from four (4), to six (6), to eight (8).
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The increase in the number of seconds should make you have the same goal:
- To increase focus
- Help you sleep easier
- Calm the nervous system
- Reduce stress
- Eliminate anxiety
Equal breaths is one of the breathing exercises which has a goal to increase your concentration while calming your whole mind and body along the way.
Unlike the other breathing exercises we have discussed above, the diaphragmatic breaths exercise would require a person to lie down. Laura Sage, CEO of CH/LL Meditation, says that this exercise will help not just calm the nervous system to make a person feel relaxed, it will increase the relaxation and oxygen intake, and strengthen the diaphragm, too.
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To do this exercise, a person needs to lie on his or her back. Then, with one (1) hand on the upper chest while the other elbow on the rib cage, the person needs to slowly breathe through his or her nose. The goal is to just feel the belly moving.
The three-part breathing is one of the many breathing exercises done in yoga and in meditation. Having said, this would require a person to sit on his or her back, straight. Similar to most, if not all, breathing exercises, the three-part breathing would help greatly with tension as well as anxiety.
To do this exercise, a person needs to slowly inhale fully. Once at its peak, the person needs to exhale one third of the breath and then pause; repeat exhaling one third until the rest of the air is exhaled. People can do this as many times as they need.
Not only does this exercise help relieve stress, anxiety, and tension, it also:
- Helps increase lung capacity
- Promotes better stress management
- Reduces anxiety
- Gets rid of stress
Wim Hof Method
Last but definitely not the least of our breathing exercises, is the Wim Hof method. In all the breathing exercises, this exercise would drastically deliver the maximum amount of oxygen to the body. Well if you haven’t known, a significant amount of oxygen to the body helps the body stay calm and relieved.
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To do the Wim Hof method, a person needs to be sat, with his or her back straight. To start, the person needs to first take thirty (30), deep power breaths. These 30 breaths must be done with full power in inhaling but not exhaling it fully. After doing so, the person needs to hold their breath for as long as he or she can. Then, the person needs to repeat the process three (3) to five (5) times.
This is one of the breathing exercises that help not only the nervous system, but the breathing, all-in-all, too. It also helps relieve anxiety, reduces stress, and relieves tension.
These are the top breathing exercises that expert yogis and meditators recommend, should a person need it. Instead of taking extreme medication, why not try these breathing techniques and exercises to help clear off your mind and to relieve your nervous system.
Source: Reader’s Digest