How do you calm down when you’re feeling stressed? It’s an important question to ask yourself. One recommendation from doctors and scientists is to focus on your breath. This Monday, we share popular yet researched-supported breathing techniques to help you calm down quickly.
Your breathing is a valuable tool to slow down your heart rate, lessen anxiety, regulate your moods, and calm you down. To enjoy the health benefits of mindful breathing, take a moment to learn the basics.
- Stand, sit, or lay down comfortably, inhale for 3 to 6 seconds through your nose and exhale 3 to 6 seconds out through your mouth. This is a cleansing breath to prepare and steady you. Think of it like stretching before your workout.
- Place your awareness on your breath, inhaling and exhaling normally through your nose. There’s no need to breathe differently than normal while at rest.
- When thoughts arise, simply label them, “thinking” or “wandering” to yourself, and return your awareness to your breath. It’s natural for thoughts to arise, but the exercise here is to return to the mindful breathing.
- You can practice mindful breathing for as little as 30 seconds to 20 minutes. It’s entirely up to you and can be customized to fit your needs.
There are many different kinds of mindful breathing exercises, but these are the fundamentals and a good place to begin.
When stress makes your life more challenging, use these tried and true methods for lowering your stress levels, coming to your center, and getting back to basics. Don’t let the simplicity fool you – mindful breathing is a powerful tool. Try it!
This Monday and whenever you feel stressed, try breathing in and out to our animated breathing graphics to help you feel instantly better and lower your stress levels.