Stress is something that everyone experiences. However, stress can be detrimental to the body if it’s not managed properly. Stress is our body's natural reaction to a threat or change in our environment. It makes sure we adapt by triggering physiological responses such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, turning up our senses and memory so we can respond more quickly in the future, and an increase in certain hormones like cortisol that prepare us for action. However, when stress becomes excessive or constant, it can begin to have a detrimental effect on our health and well-being. Stress triggers the amygdala (a part of the brain responsible for processing fear and threat) causing reactions like increased heart rate, muscle tension, and shortness of breath. And this reaction only gets worse when stress becomes constant. Fortunately, there are many breathing techniques that help us manage stress by calming down our nervous system - something you should do as often as possible!
Before you delve into breath exercises that target stress, it’s important to first take some time to breathe deeply. Having a few minutes to yourself each day to just sit and relax can be an incredibly powerful way of lowering your stress levels and reducing your levels of anxiety. Breathing slowly, deeply, and regularly is a great way to reduce stress and relax, so try to make it part of your daily routine. Whether you do it before you eat, sit down to study, or just take a few minutes to yourself as a break from your day, it will be beneficial for your stress levels. Try to avoid eating when you are feeling anxious or under stress. Studies have shown that eating high levels of sugar can actually increase anxiety. Replacing high-calorie foods with nutrient-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, will help prevent anxiety.
Studies have shown that regularly breathing slowly can have a number of benefits for our mental health, including helping to manage stress. If you regularly breathe slowly for 20 minutes, you’ll start to notice how your stress levels drop and how you feel more relaxed. Try starting this breathing session 10-15 minutes before you want to be calm, and continue breathing slowly once you are in the zone you want to be in. This breathing exercise is called diaphragmatic breathing, and it’s a great way to lower your stress levels.
Being in a state of relaxation is what breathing exercises are designed to do. So, once you have practiced your daily breathing session, you can start to incorporate the relaxation you’ve just experienced into your daily routine. This can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths before hitting a traffic jam on your way to work or before jumping on social media for a few hours of scrolling. By incorporating breathing into your daily routine, you will start to notice how you feel more relaxed and less stressed as time goes on.
To prevent your stress levels from rising, it is important to take short breaks throughout the day. A break from whatever it is you are doing will help you to refocus and reset your brain, preventing you from getting too stressed out. For example, if you are studying or writing, it is important to take breaks where you are not doing the same thing every hour. By switching up your study routine and taking a break every hour you will be preventing yourself from becoming too stressed.
Yoga breathing exercises are designed to help you relax and lower your stress levels. This can be done while you are sitting at your desk, or even while you are doing something as mindless as washing the dishes. By incorporating yoga breathing into your regular routine, you will start to notice how relaxed you feel, and how much less stressed you are feeling as time goes on. Meditation is also a great way to reduce stress and become more relaxed. It is also great for improving your memory and memory retention.