This time of year can be stressful for lots of people.
For many, it is case of recovering from the festive season only to launch into Australia Day celebrations, back to work and back to school arrangements while wondering what challenges the new year brings.
It is no secret that stress is not good for your health, but have you ever been in a situation where you feel stressed and know you need to calm down quickly? When we feel stressed, our breathing changes. It becomes shallower, which can actually worsen other symptoms of stress. To counter balance this, concentrating on your breathing can be a very helpful tool to reduce stress.
Breathing deeply and slowly is a great way to feel calmer in a stressful situation. Here are some breathing exercises to try, when you are feeling stressed and need to relax:
- Try breathing in for a slow count of four, and breathing out for a slow count of four. Repeat, until you feel yourself starting to calm. You can also increase the count of your breath, try a count of five or six before breathing out.
- Try placing your hand on your stomach and breathing in deeply, down into your stomach. Watch your hand rise on top of your belly. Breathe out, and watch your hand fall. Repeat.
- Breathe in for a count of three, hold your breath for a count of two, and then breathe out for another count of three.
Sometimes, even the act of concentrating on your breath can distract from the stressful situation.
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