Take a deep breath!
When you’re feeling stressed out, you need a technique you can use right away to release the tension and restore your inner calm.
What’s more, it needs to be something you can use – at will – whatever difficulties you’re facing, so you can get immediate relief.
Switch from Chaos to Calm
One of my favorite and most effective methods for relieving stress is to use deep breathing.
The thing I really like about it is that you can use it anywhere. Whether you’re alone or in company, at home or at work, while travelling or in a crowded restaurant. It’s very versatile.
You can literally use it in the moment to bring about a sense of calm as stressful situations crop up in your life. And you can also use it to relieve any angst you might be feeling in anticipation of a worrying, upcoming event.
Deep breathing won’t magic away the stressful situation, but it will make it much easier to handle.
How Does It Work?
When you’re exposed to something that’s potentially harmful, your brain triggers bio-chemical changes in your body that prepare you for fight or flight This is what allows you to jump out of the way of a speeding car or beat a hasty retreat if someone threatens you in the street.
Fight or flight serves us well in an emergency when we need a burst of energy, but more often than not in everyday life, this heightened state of readiness can’t be defused by fighting or running away. Instead, we have to find other, more effective ways of defusing our fight or flight state, which is where deep breathing comes into its own.
As you take a deep breath…and another…and another…this induces a more relaxed state that helps lower your heart rate, reduce muscle tension and, most importantly, relieve anxiety. It’s therefore an advantage in stressful situations to be able to switch to deep breathing at will.
The Art of Deep Breathing
It’s worth taking time to practice this breathing exercise once or twice a day for a few days, and as you do, notice how much more relaxed you start to feel. Then, you can use this technique whenever you feel your stress levels rising and you need to restore your inner calm.