When we feel stressed, our breathing pattern changes. This is why practicing controlled breathing is so important for stress management and to help reduce anxiety. In this post, Elika discusses the benefits of controlled breathing and ways to implement the controlled breathing exercise into your regular routine.
Our lives are stressful, things happen, and as much as we try to avoid it, we can become overwhelmed and anxious.
Luckily, scientific studies have shown that controlling your breath can help to manage stress and reduce anxiety. Many people use their breathing to help promote relaxation and reduce stress. The best part? You don’t have to be in a Yoga class to practice controlled breathing.
When we are stressed or anxious, we take in small, shallow breathes, breathing from our chest rather than our diaphragm.
Shallow breathing, or breathing too quickly (hyperventilation), can increase feelings of anxiety by making the physical symptoms of stress worse. Controlled breathing can help to improve some of these symptoms.
Controlled breathing has many benefits including:
- reduced levels of stress hormones in the blood
- reduced lactic acid build-up in muscle tissue
- lowered blood pressure and heart rate
- improved immune system functioning
- increased physical energy
- increased feelings of calm and well-being.
How To Do This Stress Management Technique
Elika frequently teaches her clients how to do various controlled breathing exercises.
In this video, Elika reviews one of her favorite breathing exercises that has personally helped her cope with stress, reduce anxiety and get a better night’s sleep.
Creating a routine
You may be wondering “does this really work?” Or saying to yourself, “I tried it before and I still got anxious”. The answer is Yes and You’re Right.
Yes! This DOES really work and you’re right, you can still get anxious even if you do this exercise. The truth is, in order for any stress management or anxiety management technique to work, you need to practice it consistently.
- Choose a special place where you can sit (or lie down) comfortably and quietly.
- Don’t try too hard. That may just cause you to tense up.
- The goal is to shift your focus from stressors to deeper, calmer rhythms — and having a focal point is essential.
- Try to practice once or twice a day, always at the same time, in order to enhance the sense of ritual and establish a habit. Maybe do it before you go to work or school and then before bed.
- Try to practice at least 10–20 minutes each day.