Constantly feel stressed? Today, we’ll share the simplest relaxation technique that you can use anywhere!
Have you ever noticed your breathing? For something that we do thousands of times a day, we barely take note of it. We often think of breathing as something subconscious, something that we do not have to control. We rarely notice that we are able to take control of our breathing, which can actually achieve great results.
Think back to a time when you felt calm. What kinds of breathing patterns did you have then? What about when you were in a state of anxiety, or distress? We might not notice it, but humans breathe differently when we are stressed!
The goal of this simple technique is to get our body to control its breathing to a state that we experience in a period of calm. By taking slow, deep breaths, our body feels more peaceful and this can help calm a racing mind down.
Observe the following animation. Focus on the ball, and breathe in as deeply as you can when it grows. Hold that breath for a moment, and exhale fully as it shrinks. Repeat this exercise 4 to 6 times.
Feel more relaxed and rejuvenated? By utilizing this slow, controlled, breathing technique, our body transforms its state into a calmer frame. Deep breaths elicit a “relaxation response” in our body, turning down the natural response to stress which is anxiety.
How to use this exercise
Do note that deep breathing, like many exercises, must be practiced. When first starting out, feelings of light-headedness might be common. If that’s the case, do not attempt too many cycles of deep breathing in one go. As our bodies grow accustomed to this technique, this feeling will quickly go away and be replaced by a sense of calm.
After practicing this technique and getting a consistent rhythm with it, this technique can be used anywhere we like! The most common benefits of this exercise are to reduce stress and anxiety, but try it when:
- managing and reducing angry outbursts,
- controlling cravings,
- as a form of meditation to focus the mind,
- before carrying out a task that sparks nervousness,
- trying to fall asleep
Let us know if you’d like us to share more of these quick and simple exercises we can use to fight stress! Leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page! We’re glad to talk with you.
BlankSlate Counselling is here to help anyone experiencing mental health issues. We believe that with care and trusted support, we can build a thriving population that supports mental health in Singapore.