Stress comes at us from many angles, and reeks havoc on the body/mind. Focusing on following one’s breath, gently down into the belly has the immediate effect of lowering stress levels. There are so many different breathing techniques, and through experience you can discover which one works best for you. Raising oxygen levels in the body is important for health and well being. By paying attention to breathing, stressful breathing patterns that signal the body to be on alert can be calmed and erased.
Several check ins throughout the day on how you are breathing can reveal your pattern and placement of your breath in your body. Daily tuning in to your breath can reveal when you feel the breath is short and/or shallow, and at times when the breath may even be held in. This noticing is a step towards fuller, conscious breathing that when followed will enliven your being.
Take even 5 minutes a day to sit or lie down with your hands placed on your belly to then gently breathe thru your nose, slowly feeling your belly move with your rested hands rising and falling in rhythm to the inhalations and exhalations of your breath. During your exhalation tighten your stomach muscles just slightly near the end of the exhalation so that you can breathe out all the air to then fully relaxing your stomach muscles as you fill your belly up with air on the following inhalation.
Relaxing on your inhalation is important. Just falling into it. And at the end of your exhalation a little bit of tightening of the stomach muscles to release the air. Doing this exercise within your comfort zone, without much effort can start to give you more energy to go about your day, and some welcomed stress relief.