Deep breathing is an excellent relaxation tool that can be adapted for almost any situation.
It also has some physical benefits including:
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Reduction in muscle tension
- Boost in metabolism
- Clearing of the mind
- Boost in endorphins (our natural painkillers)
The basic technique is just like it sounds: slowly breathe in through your nose, and then breathe out through your mouth.
Try counting slowly as you do this.
Each breath should take ten to twenty seconds (you will be able to take longer breaths with practice).
When you are in a stressful situation, it is easy to unobtrusively deep breathe to keep yourself cool and calm. This will help prevent some of the harmful physical effects of stress, since stress causes us to breathe faster, making our bodies work harder.
If you have a few moments to yourself, sit down, close your eyes, and spend a few minutes deep breathing.
Deep breathing can also be used in conjunction with tensing and relaxing, which we will cover in our top tips next week!