Did you know there’s actually an entire institute in America dedicated to research on stress? It’s that big of a problem.
And it’s not hard to see why when you look at statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. According to their findings, 40% of all workers in the nation report their job as being extremely stressful. 25% view their jobs as the primary source of stress in their lives and three fourths of all employees see stress as worse than it was for the previous generation.
It’s really no secret. Most of us have stressful and busy lives. Some people might choose to turn to alcohol as a means of coping with that stress. But while alcohol can work wonders for the body and mind when used in moderation, health experts don’t recommend using it as an outlet.
Instead, why not consider something that’s absolutely free, something that you can do anywhere?
Without further ado, let me share with you four breathing exercises that will give you a refresher whenever and wherever you need it.
Exercise #1 – Stomach Breathing
This exercise is at the foundation of all the others, so it’s important you get it right. Luckily, it’s easy.
First begin by sitting in a comfortable position. Then, place one hand on your stomach right below your ribcage and place the other over your chest. Next, take a deep breath through your nostril. Push the hand on your stomach to the side of your belly while the other remains in place.
Next, breathe through your mouth and move your hands toward your stomach. This will help you press out the breath.
Exercise #2 – Morning Breathing
As the name would suggest, this exercise is ideal for early morning use. It’ll help you start your day right by relieving tension.
You should be standing when you do this exercise. Bend your knees, and then bend your upper body forward at the waist. Let your arms hang close to the floor.
As you breathe, return to the upright position. Slowly exhale and bend your upper body.
Here are some morning exercises to do if you’re unable to bend.
Exercise #3 – 4-7-8 Breathing
This is a great exercise to do at your desk since it requires you to stay seated. You can also lie down on the floor.
Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe deeply on the count of four and notice how your belly moves. Hold this breath for 7 seconds and breathe out as you count to 8.
Exercise #4 – Roll Breathing
Finally, we arrive at roll breathing. This will use your full lung capacity. For this exercise, you might want to lie down, but if you’re feeling adventurous, by all means, sit.
Place your left hand on your stomach and your right on your chest. Move your hands as you inhale and exhale. Breathe deeply from your lower lungs, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale.
Make a whooshing noise as you exhale.