Summer is a time to relax, enjoy life and have fun! But we all know that the end of summer can feel like a mess of stress – catching up on the many sunny summer activities we "should" have done or planning out a busy Fall. How do you deal with the overload and overwhelm? Try these simple proven breathing techniques to bring you back into balance, reduce tension and allow you to fully enjoy the rest of your summer!
Reduce tension with these 3 simple breathing techniques:
1. Breathe more consciously
Basic breath awareness can help improve self-awareness and calm your nervous system.
Think about how you breathe first thing in the morning when you wake up. Place your palm on your abdomen, close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose then exhale through your mouth. Relax your shoulders and remember to relax as you exhale. Repeat this conscious breathing exercise several times or until you feel more relaxed and ready for the day.
2. Practice diaphragmatic breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing, or breathing through your belly, is a deep breathing exercise that can help calm you and normalize your breathing. It interrupts the stress response we might feel especially after a long day at work.
You can perform this exercise while sitting or lying down on your back. With your hand on your chest, breathe in slowly through your nose until you feel your stomach expand. Tighten your stomach muscles as you exhale through your mouth. Practice this exercise 3 – 4 times a day or whenever you need a quick simple way to relax.
3. Practice Ujjayi Pranayama
Ujjayi Pranayama, commonly used to support yoga poses, is a full, deep, slow breath that can increase alertness and energize your body.
Sit up tall, close your eyes, relax your shoulders and begin to inhale and exhale through your mouth. When you exhale, begin to slightly contract your throat and slowly whisper “ahhh”. Imagine your breath fogging up a mirror. Maintain the constriction of your throat as you inhale again through your mouth. Notice your breath making a soft hiss sound as you inhale.
Seal your lips and repeat this breathing exercise a few more times. Remember, the aim is to gently constrict the back of your throat until the air passage becomes narrower as your breath travels up and down your throat.
This breathing exercise is also a great method for you to focus on the present and stop the loop of overthinking.
These breathing techniques, when done on a regular basis will really help you reduce stress and frustration in daily life. Remember, achieving mindfulness may be just a breath away!
We’d love to hear from you! What other breathing techniques do you use to stay calm and relax during the summer? Comment below or tweet us @amodatea!