Our breath is such a simple and essential thing. Each inhale and exhale ebbs and flows throughout the day and we barely give it a second thought. And yet, something as simple as the way you breath can improve your health.
Use your breath to calm anxiety and stress
Deep breathing when anxiety hits can make the difference between an unmanageable situation and an unwelcome blip in your day. It naturally lowers your heart rate, improves blood flow and helps you think more clearly.
Even more, when tempers flare, it seems almost impossible to think about anything other than the current situation. Simple breathing techniques can encourage calmness and help reverse the physical symptoms of anger.
To lessen anxiety and increase calmness
- Isolate yourself from everyone for 15 minutes
- Inhale slowly for the count of 4.
- Exhale slowly for the count of 8.
- Notice the space in between your inhale and exhale.
- Repeat until you feel yourself calm.
Breathing and Meditation
Focused breathing is an excellent addition to a meditation practice. It allows more open hearts and minds. Even more, it can move energy that is stuck.
- Quiet your body and mind
- Slow your breathing to a calm steady level
- Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth
- Concentrate on the air that moves in and out of your lungs
- Feel each inhale as it rises from your feet to your head and each exhale as it descends from your head through the bottoms of your feet.
- Focus on how your body feels and moves as you inhale and exhale
Much like massage, breathing encourages relaxation and healthy habits. It keeps your mind and body functioning well and curbs your stress. Through focused breathing, your muscles naturally relax and may help you feel as if you go through your day a little easier.
DeAnn Gietzen is the owner and licensed massage therapist with Northern Mandala, LLC, based in East Grand Forks, Minn.
Through a 750-hour training program at Josef’s School of Hair, Skin and Body, DeAnn received advanced training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology. The course also included clinical practice, practical application and certification in CPR, first aid and AED. DeAnn has successfully completed the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. She is licensed in massage therapy by the state of North Dakota.