Unable to unwind after a busy or stressful day? Sometimes something as simple as paying attention to your breathing can make a big difference. Here are four breathing exercises to help relieve stress.
Belly breathing: Place a hand on your stomach and take a natural breath in and out. Let your belly fill with air. Feel how your belly expands with each inhalation and retracts with each exhalation.
Counting your breaths: Count your breath every time you exhale. Start with one and work your way up to ten. When you reach ten, start again at one. If you lose count, simply start at one again — no matter how often.
Deep mindful breathing: Take a deep breath and allow your belly to fill with air. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then slowly release your breath. Try to let all the tension and stress go as you exhale.
Mindful breathing during other activities: If you are engaged in a simple or repetitive daily activity, try to become aware of your breathing as you do it.
- These exercises come from the book Mindfulness for dummies by Shamash Alidina.
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