SOS Breathing Technique For Stressful Times
The benefits of deep breathing are not unknown, nor is the prevalence of high stress among people these days. In simple words, all of us are stressed about something or the other, whether that’s work or family, or relationships. Chronic stress is extremely hazardous to the body, and without any reparative measures, it can take quite a toll on one’s health. From aches and pains in the body to lowered immunity to higher susceptibility to grave illnesses like heart disease and cancer, stress is, indeed the biggest killer in modern day life!
Managing stress doesn’t have to mean that you must turn your whole life around. On the contrary, stress management is a matter of making small changes in your daily life - some so small that you don’t even notice them!
One such management technique is deep breathing. It is extremely simple, easy to do anywhere and anytime, and… extremely undervalued! When the body goes into what is called a ‘stress response,’ the first thing that takes a hit is the breathing. Our chest muscles tighten up without any conscious effort from our end, and our breathing becomes shallow, constricted and rapid. Focusing on the breath, then, becomes one of the first steps towards managing and curbing the stress response.
Here’s a simple and effective deep breathing technique, called the ‘Full Yogic Breath,’ that you can do anywhere, anytime, to bring the body back into a relaxed state of being.
Sit or stand with your back straight, shoulders rolled back and down, completely relaxed. Take a few moments to relax your upper body, keeping the spine elongated and straight at the time time. Relax your jaw. Let your tongue drop to the floor of your mouth.
Take a deep inhalation all the way into your abdomen. Let it rise and fill on all four sides. Exhale softly, slowly, and completely.
Take a deep inhalation into your chest. Completely fill up your chest, and let it expand on all four sides. Exhale softly, slowly, and completely.
Combining step 2 and 3, take a deep inhalation into your abdomen until it’s full. Keep inhaling to fill up your chest, and all the way to your throat. And exhale slowly, softly, and completely. When exhaling, empty the chest first and then the abdomen.
If you can, close your eyes while you do this. Repeat five to fifteen times. Ideally, you should practice this powerful breathing technique every day. That said, it does work well for immediate stress relief, too. this three-part yogic breath keeps the body and mind healthy by releasing muscular tension, enhancing blood circulation, keeping the lungs healthy, and calming the stress response.