Updated: May 16
Stress is often described as one of the great “silent killers” of the modern human.
In a strange way, stress is a little bit like gravity; we understand its effects on us and how it occurs, but we’re not sure just what it is. After all, stress comes in a lot of different forms, and what might be stressful for some might be fun and relaxing for others.
However, we all know the effects of stress on our minds and bodies; managing those stresses is a different story, however.
Thankfully, stress is often something that can be dealt with at the moment if you know the proper methods. You’re in luck, too, because we know what those methods are - breathing.
In today’s blog, we’ll be exploring how you can manage your stress in the moments it happens with some of our favorite breathing exercises. So, take a deep breath, and let’s get started!
Stress Management with Breathing
While there are many events in your life that you don’t have control over, the one thing you consistently have control over is your emotional response to those events. That’s kind of the crux of stress management as a whole and the reason why breathing exercise can be so helpful when managing your emotional peaks and valleys.
Managing stress is all about regaining control of your body. Taking long, slow breaths that focus on full inhales and exhales, such as when engaging in breathing exercises, can significantly reduce anxiety and stress if done consistently and regularly.
So, with that in mind, what are some of the best practices you can complete to help regain control during moments of stress? We’re glad you asked.
If you’re familiar with our blogs, then you’ll know how much we love the 478 technique, so we’ll keep this one brief if you haven’t heard of it before.
Breathe through your nose while counting to four, making sure to keep your tongue at the top of your mouth.
Hold that breathe for seven seconds.
Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight seconds.
This technique is commonly taught in yoga and is incredibly useful at helping your body relax. It’s also an incredibly straightforward technique that can be hugely beneficial from just about any location.
Square (or Block) Breathing
The square technique has an incredible reputation for allowing users to calm themselves down during moments of high stress:
Breathe in for a count of 4
Hold the top of your breath for a count of 4
Gently exhale through your mouth for a count of 4
At the bottom of your breath, pause and hold for a count of 4.
Much like the 478, square breathing is incredibly versatile and can be practiced in short intervals just about anywhere, making it ideal for stress management on the go.
For more information regarding how to manage your breathing for a more effective lifestyle, visit our other blogs here at The Exhale to get the latest tips and tricks. For free guided breathing exercises that you can take anywhere, try out the Breathwrk app here.
And remember: Breathe Better, Live Better.