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Breathing exercises for stress relief




Paying attention to how we breathe can often be overlooked because it’s completely automatic. However, becoming aware of and incorporating breathing exercises into our daily routine has many benefits, including promoting calmness, increasing focus, and performing your best.


Breathing exercises, guided meditations and progressive muscle relaxation exercises are all suitable techniques to use in our daily lives to help us relax and manage our anxieties and fears.


Here are some breathing exercises that you can engage in to take a break from work!


Breathing breaks

  • Stand up and take a deep breath while raising your arms slowly over your head.

  • Exhale as you lower your arms. Repeat 3 times.


Paced Breathing

  • The basic technique is to inhale for a count of 2-4 seconds and exhale for a count of 4-6 seconds. Find the combination that works for you, making sure to exhale longer than you inhale.

  • Focus on your attention on a specific object, image or sound or even your breath to free your mind from distractions.

  • Begin by taking a normal breath and then take a deep breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose, letting your chest and lower belly expand. Breathe out slowly through your mouth, pursing your lips and making a swoosh sound.

  • If your mind wanders, gently redirect your focus back to counting and breathing.

  • Using a breathing app in the beginning can help serve as a breathing coach. Eventually, the paced breathing will become second nature.


4-4-8 Breathing

  • While sitting, breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, taking the breath into your stomach.

  • Hold your breath for a count of 4.

  • Release your breath through your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of 8.

  • Without a break, breathe in again for a count of 4, repeating the entire technique 3-4 times in a row.

  • Focus on counting when breathing in, holding the breath, and breathing out.


Laugh

  • Surround yourself with a few items that make you laugh - a funny cartoon, funny photos, or a fun toy.

  • Share stories with your co-workers. A willingness to laugh at yourself sometimes can also serve as a good reminder not to take life so seriously, which can do wonders for your stress level.


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