Have you tried dozens of calming teas and umpteen natural remedies, but your stress levels are still through the roof? Perhaps you should try a few relaxation exercises based on controlling your breathing. In fact, the right breathing techniques can be a great ally when it comes to undoing the knots in your stomach.
Alternated breathing consists of breathing first through one nostril and then the other. The benefits of this exercise are numerous: better health, steadier nerves, improved sleep and a reduction in tension. This breathing exercise can also help you understand yourself better and improve your concentration.
The exercise: Block the left nostril with your ring finger and breathe out through the right nostril. Inhale through the same nostril, then block it with your thumb, and breathe out through the left nostril. Repeat the exercise, alternating between the two nostrils, for one minute. Finish the exercise with one long breath out through both nostrils.
You can also breathe using your stomach. Although this appears to have been long forgotten, it can help promote a sense of well-being.
Abdominal breathing increases respiratory amplitude (tidal volume) by over 70% (compared to 30% for thoracic breathing. It helps to better oxygenate the brain, improve physical performance and improve overall well-being.
The exercise: Sit down and place your hands on your stomach. Inhale through the nose for three seconds, swelling up your belly (without forcing it). Hold the air in, and slowly breathe out through the mouth, allowing your tummy to go down. Repeat the exercise three times a day.
Breathing with visualisation
The goal of this exercise is to imagine, with your eyes half closed or fully closed, the positive things in your environment (a nice object or situation). At the same time, you concentrate on your breathing. The most important thing is to focus on positive thoughts.
The exercise: Standing up, with your arms by your sides and your eyes closed, breathe in and think about positive or happy things. Breathe out through your mouth. The sense of well-being should spread throughout your whole body.
You should practice this exercise every morning.
This relaxation technique is based on controlling your heartbeat in order to better regulate the brain. Thanks to this exercise, you can remain more emotionally stable, which further reduces stress and can increase intellectual capacities.
The exercise: Use the “365” method: three times a day, take a five minute break to practice this exercise. Get comfortable in an armchair, keeping your back nice and straight, and breathe into your stomach six times a minute. Do this exercise five times in a row.