Feeling stressed? Changing your breathing can help

Everyone suffers from stress and anxiety on occasion.  And this has been compounded by all the events 2020 has brought.  Studies show that simple breathing exercises can go a long way in restoring calm.

If 2020 hasn’t made you feel stressed or anxious then consider yourself lucky.  For the rest of us, experts agree that focusing on your breathing can help lessen the stress and anxiety you are feeling.  In a study conducted by the uber smart folks at Yale, researchers tested three ways to reduce stress:

  1. Breathing exercises using the SKY Breath Meditation program

  2. Mediation focused on self-awareness without judgment

  3. Emotional Intelligence program that focuses on improving self-awareness and regulation

    Find more details on these simple steps here.

Of the three programs evaluated, the breathing exercises produced the best results when it came to reducing stress and anxiety.  What is so relaxing about breathing other than the comfort I get in knowing it keeps me alive, of course?!

When we are calm and relaxed our breathing is regular and slow.  But short and shallow when we are stressed and anxious.  By replicating the breathing patterns of being calm we can experience calmness within a matter of minutes.  When we inhale our heart rate speeds up and it slows down when we exhale.  By decreasing the amount of time inhaling (count of four) and increasing the time exhaling (count of eight) we will begin to calm down.  

How do you calm down when feeling stressed and anxious?

Also see last week’s personal+professional development post about six signs that indicate intelligence.

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