Paying attention to how we breathe can often be overlooked because it’s completely automatic. However, becoming aware of and incorporating breathing exercises into our daily routine has many benefits, including promoting calmness for mind and body, decreasing stress in the moment and increasing focus.
Try these 3 simple breathing techniques to help refresh your energy and let go of distractions:
- Breathe and Stretch
Stand and take a deep breath while you are raising arms slowly over your head.
Exhale as you lower your arms. Repeat 3 times.
- Abdominal Breathing
While sitting, with one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs.
Exhale slowly through pursed lips, emptying the belly. You can work up to 6-10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 2-3 minutes.
- 4-7-8 Breathing (Anti-Anxiety)
Close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. This completes one cycle.
Any type of break, however small in your work day can help with stress management, even a simple movement break, has shown to have health benefits.