Got Stress? Learn breathing techniques that can help reduce it!

Breathing. Most of us do not spend even a second thinking about it throughout the day. It’s automatic right? What is there to think about? Good questions. In a nutshell, our breathing patterns change according to both internal and external factors and can often be an indicator of our overall health. But unlike a lot of other internal bodily functions we DO have control of how we breathe! And how we breathe can affect other organs and systems in our body. Have you heard of chest or stomach breathing before? Chest breathing uses mostly the upper lungs to intake oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, whereas stomach breathing (or diaphragmatic breathing) uses more of the entire lungs to do the same. This means more oxygen into the bloodstream.

Along with decreasing stress, improved oxygen supply through proper breathing also helps with the following:

Breathing Techniques

  • Tissue repair
  • Metabolism (increasing energy and weight loss)
  • Brain function
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves concentration
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • And many more!!

Shallow and rapid breathing is a typical part of the stress response, and this hyperventilation can prolong anxiety and stress. Performing various exercises for improved breathing patterns can help to reduce stress and the affects it has on our body, among other things. There are many different breathing techniques other than the ones in the video, but in essence the general aim is to shift from upper chest breathing to abdominal breathing. You will need a quiet, relaxed environment where you won’t be disturbed for 10 to 20 minutes.With each breath, allow any tension in your body to slip away. Once you are breathing slowly and with your abdomen, sit quietly and enjoy the sensation of physical relaxation. Ahhhh…. now doesn’t that feel better!?

Elite physiotherapists Leah and Ricky appeared on City TV’s Breakfast Television to discuss how breathing techniques can help reduce stress and prevent injury. In case you missed it, here is the video:

 

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