Proper breathing can help you deal with stress in daily life!
Most stress can be combated by developing good breathing techniques
Of late, I’m coming across a lot of people struggling with day-to-day stresses like work, studies, travel and relationships — and all of these things running in their minds have started affecting their overall health. Why are we allowing stress to overpower our body and mind? We all know that stress is part and parcel of life and that’s why even our body has a fight and flight mode to prepare our body for any stressful condition. That means our sympathetic nervous system is activated wherein our nervous system prepares our body for stress by increasing our heart rate and blood flow to the muscles while decreasing blood flow to the skin and a few other organs. This consistent increase in heart rate and elevated levels of cortisol or the stress hormone can create issues in the body by increasing our risk of hypertension, cardiac issues, stroke etc.
That’s why we have to understand that we can’t get rid of stress, but we can learn to relax instead. How, you ask? With the help of oxygen, the life force within our body, we get prana — a subtle energy. When we focus on deep breathing, the oxygen level helps in reducing the cortisol or stress levels in the body, which then simulates our parasympathetic nervous system that puts us in the rest and digest mode and also gives us that state of peace or calmness. Try to master the art of deep breathing and you’ll notice how instantly you are able to relax and manage the stress. Try to add a basic anulom vilom (breathing technique) in your morning routine for the next few days and continue doing it throughout the day to bring in more oxygen into your body and you will observe your breathing getting better day by day — your chest and lungs opening up slowly and gaining the strength gradually. Your exhale should always be double the amount of inhale to flush out carbon dioxide and improve lung capacity, so you can follow a 3-3-6 technique wherein you inhale for 3, hold for 3 and exhale for 6 seconds or you can even try a 4-4-6 technique, similarly.
The more regularly you practice deep breathing, the more you will feel calm and relaxed. Practice anulom vilom daily at least 10 times in the morning as well as the evening, and try to breathe deeply when you find yourself in a stressful situation. Keep increasing your count every day and you will eventually find out what count works for you and what makes you feel good.
Here’s to a less stressed and more relaxed version of you!