Stress is a common issue in our modern society. Work, family, social obligations, and other daily stressors can put immense pressure on us. If left unaddressed, this stress can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as anxiety, depression, burnout, and other health problems. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stress, and breathing exercises are a prime example.
Why breathing exercises can reduce stress
Breathing exercises are an effective way to alleviate stress. Breathing directly affects our body and mind. When we are stressed, our breathing pattern often becomes irregular and shallow. Ever tested your own breathing? This can lead to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and elevated levels of stress hormones in our body.
Practicing breathing exercises can help regulate your breathing pattern and relax your body. Consequently, this can assist in regulating your emotions and lowering stress levels.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of breathing exercises in reducing stress. A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that breathing exercises are an effective way to reduce stress: participants who performed breathing exercises had significantly lower stress levels than those who did not.
3 breathing exercises for stress
Do you want to reduce stress too? Try one of these breathing exercises and experience their immediate effects on your body! Take the time to learn the techniques and repeat them regularly for optimal results.
4-7-8 breathing exercise
This is a popular exercise for stress reduction. Sit comfortably and place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Breathe in calmly through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat this cycle 4 times.
Sit or lie down calmly and relaxed, placing your hands on your abdomen. Inhale through your nose, allowing your belly to expand, and then exhale through your mouth. Feel your belly rise and fall with each breath. Repeat for several minutes.
Inhale through your nose for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for 5 seconds. Repeat this cycle for 5 minutes. For this exercise, using an app that provides a visual tempo can be helpful for easy following. An example is the "Breathe+" app or a coherent breathing video on YouTube like this one:
Tips for practicing breathing exercises
When getting started, allow yourself some space to learn. Sit in a quiet place and take the time to practice. Put your phone on silent and ensure you won't be disturbed during the exercises - grant yourself those few minutes of tranquility! During the exercise, pay attention to your breathing: be mindful of it and try to keep it calm and relaxed. If you notice your thoughts wandering, gently bring them back to your breath by focusing on it.
Begin with short sessions and gradually increase the duration of the exercises. Don't force yourself to breathe for too long; it's better to take it easy. To experience the benefits of breathing exercises, regular practice is essential. Consistency will help, so the best tip is to choose a fixed time in your daily routine for these exercises. The more skilled you become, the more benefits you will experience, and the better you'll be able to regulate your stress levels!
Need assistance with breathing exercises?
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