Whether it’s dealing with office pressures or the annoyances of day-to-day activities, stress is an issue everybody has struggled with at one point in their lives. While stress can often act as a motivator, long-term stress has been known to cause serious health issues such as anxiety and health disease. Inspired by National Stress Awareness Day yesterday, we here at the Swift Life would like to take a moment to look at some breathing exercises that have been proven to reduce stress.
One of the simplest ways to relax and reduce stress is to practice deep breathing. Deep breathing, also known as “belly breathing,” requires you lie or sit down and inhale deeply through your nose. When inhaling, make sure that only your abdomen rises and your chest remains still. After holding the air in for a couple of seconds, exhale slowly through your mouth.
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This process allows the body to perform a full oxygen exchange, which has been known to stabilize or lower blood pressure. By contrast, shallow “chest breathing” commonly performed by a majority of North Americans can increase tension and anxiety.
Be sure to take the time to schedule 10-20 minutes of deep breathing into your daily routine. Try to make sure that these deep breathing periods are scheduled at the same time each day, which can help establish deep breathing as a daily habit. During these deep breathing sessions, take the time to relax and try to shift your focus away from the daily stresses of work and life. With time and commitment, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of being a little less stressed, and a little more relaxed.
So take a moment for yourself and have a relaxing deep breathing session. Your body and mind will be sure to thank you for it.
Have a great Thursday everyone.