Feeling the Holiday stress? Traveling is stressful and crowded, students are coming home, intricate dinners are being planned, unnecessary pressures to impress family members and friends, and end of the year. It can be overwhelming. Have you tried some breathing exercises as a technique to manage your stress? Learn how you can breathe through your holiday stress and all that comes with this seasons stress below.
What is breathing?
There are two breathing patterns: Thoracic or chest breathing and diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing. Thoracic breathing an increased heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension, and other physical sensations that signal your body is in distress and that your blood is not adequately oxygenated. Breathing is a vital action our bodies do. When you breathe in, your blood cells receive oxygen and release “waste” known as carbon dioxide. When the normal breathing pace is disturbed by things like: anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue, active physical activity, and emotional disturbances can all upset the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanges in your body.
The Different Types:
Belly Breathing: this is easy and very relaxing to do. Practice this exercise every time you need to relax and alleviate any stress. You will need to be seated or lying down in a comfortable position.
- Begin by putting your hand on your belly, below the ribs. Your other hand can rest on your chest.
- Start by taking a deep breath in through your nose and let your belly fill with air, and hold it. Your chest should not move.
- Release your breath through pursed lips. The hand on your belly should still be resting on your stomach and can be used to help push out the air.
- Practice breathing like this for another 3 to 10 times. Remember to take your time between each breath.
4-7-8 Breathing: this is a more advanced belly breathing technique. You can do this either sitting or lying down.
- Begin by putting one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.
- Next, you will want to take a deep and slow breath from inside your belly. Quietly count to 4 while you continue to breathe in.
- Hold your breath and quietly count from 1-to-7.
- Lastly, as you release the breath, quietly count from 1 to 8. Attempt to breathe out all of the air from you lungs within the 1-8 count.
- Repeat 3 to 7 times or until you feel relaxed.
Roll Breathing: Try this exercise when you first get up in the mornings. It will help alleviate muscle stiffness and clear your sinuses. You can also use it throughout the day to relieve any tension in your back.
- Begin from a standing position, bend from the waist with your knees slightly bent and let your arms dangle, this will be your first position.
- Next, as you inhale slowly return to a standing position by rolling up slowly. Your head should be the last thing to come up.
- Hold your breath for a couple of seconds while in a standing position, bending down at the waist.
- Repeat as needed.
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