Is finding stress relief difficult for you lately? If so, effective stress management techniques exist that can help. One quick and easy way to cope with stress that’s often overlooked is practicing deep breathing.
Some of that may be because it’s difficult to imagine something so simple as regulating your breaths leading to a decrease in stress symptoms if you haven’t tried it before. It just seems too easy to be effective. Still, those willing to give deep breathing a try find numerous benefits.
In her Psychology Today article entitled The Simplest Stress Management Skill, Dianne Grande, Ph.D. shares the following:
“Deep breathing has been shown through research studies to shift the body’s response from the stress (fight or flight) state to the relaxed (rest and digest) state. The physiological mechanism for this is the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis, which is mediated by the vagus nerve. Deep breathing is one way to activate the vagus nerve.”
What exactly could you gain from deep breathing exercises? Here are a few key reasons you should try it if you’re feeling chronic stress lately.
A Quick Way to Destress
The reality is you’ll need several ways to destress to gain freedom. It takes time to learn and implement these strategies. For instance, healthy eating and exercise can help with stress reduction. Still, it takes time to get your body working in a way that your stress levels are consistently lower as a result.
Through therapy, you can also learn the vital power of confronting negative thoughts and beliefs that lead to excess stress and replacing them with something more helpful. And although this is critical and necessary work for anyone serious about their mental health, again, it takes time to get where you want to go.
One excellent advantage of deep breathing exercises is that they work quickly and effectively to lower stress and anxiety levels wherever you find yourself. It’s no secret by now that a person’s physical and mental aspects are closely related. When the physical body isn’t well, this leads to a lack of mental wellness and vice versa. The same is true when the mental or physical part of a person grows healthier. Both the physical and mental benefits.
Deep breathing signals to your body that things are well with you, and your mental faculties get the message. That allows the physical to coax the mind into a state of relaxation rather than agitation, stress, and worry.
Certain stress-relief strategies will work better for some people than others. It’s a good thing there’s no shortage of possibilities for individuals seeking stress relief. Most people find the best stress relief strategies through trial and error.
And although everyone’s stress management system will differ, you could say that deep breathing is more of a universal stress-relief strategy. It brings such calm to the physical and mental person that virtually anyone will find some benefit from it.
With both physical and mental health care, the cure mustn’t be more harmful than what we attempt to fix. There are times, for instance, when harsh medications cause more problems and side effects than what was initially meant to be resolved.
Finding stress relief techniques less invasive than deep breathing would be difficult. There are no side effects or risks to worry about.
Deep Breathing is Versatile
No doubt, deep breathing is regularly used by many to overcome stress in a direct sense by slowing the body down. But many also use deep breathing as part of their spiritual practices with meditation.
So, in this sense, deep breathing can help by more than simply relaxing your physical and mental state. It also aids in obtaining spiritual clarity, which can lower harmful stress levels.
You Can Share the Advantages with Others
Managing stress is a lifelong learning process that we must fine-tune regardless of our age or walk of life. Much of this process is an individual journey. After all, no one understands the unique pressures of our personal stressors like we do.
Still, there are times others around us can help us problem-solve and come up with ways to handle our stress better. Meditation is one of those stress-relief techniques you can easily pass on to family and friends. For instance, you can teach your child or grandchild these strategies, and they’ll be able to use them for their entire lives if they desire.
You’re Reminded There’s More to Life than Busyness
Slowing down enough to count your inhales and exhales probably isn’t on your to-do list. Neither is listening to your breaths or observing the effects of your breathing. But this is precisely why you should consider deep breathing. Doing so helps remind you there is more to life than your schedule. You also need time to nurture yourself and others.
Some Basics on How to Do Deep Breathing Exercises
One of the most significant barriers to people using deep breathing to manage stress is a lack of knowledge. The good news is that deep breathing is relatively simple to learn. Although there are numerous breathing techniques you can try, here are some basic steps you can take.
Find a comfortable setting such as a chair, or you can lie on the floor. Then, draw in a breath through your nose for five seconds. Next, exhale for five seconds, pursing your lips while doing so. Repeat this process for about two minutes.
You should feel your belly expand while breathing; it can help you initially place your hand on your stomach to visualize your breathing better. Also, make a point to observe how you feel after deep breathing exercises.
Are You Stressed Out Lately? Counseling Can Help with Stress Relief
As shared earlier, developing several effective methods to manage stress in your life is a good idea. Although deep breathing is a proven way to relieve stress, it usually takes a more complete stress management plan to get the best results.
If you’d like to learn more about how the OC Relationship Center can help you manage your stress better, please feel free to get in touch. Scheduling an appointment only takes minutes but can be a significant step toward stress and anxiety relief.