Chronic stress can lead to serious mental disorders, anxiety, and even depression. Properly and systematically performed breathing exercises can help alleviate ailments and prevent dangerous diseases.
The rhythm of breathing is influenced by thoughts and emotions. Therefore, being able to control the smoothness and freedom of the breath helps to reduce stress, oxygenate the body and relieve nerves. The body automatically responds to strong stimuli, so when you are agitated or feeling anxious, your breath becomes shallow, faster, or even stops, causing a feeling of airing out.
Ancient philosophies related to sports and body work, especially eastern arts such as yoga, tai-chi, and meditation, relied on breath control to help relieve tension throughout the body and calm negative thoughts.
Biologically, breathing provides the body with the oxygen it needs to burn organic matter and produce energy. Proper oxygenation enables all the body’s internal systems, especially the brain, to function properly.
Strong emotions significantly affect the condition and health of the body. The main symptom is stimulation of the nervous system, which increases the secretion of adrenaline, raises blood pressure, accelerates heart rate, disturbs the digestive system and increases blood glucose levels. Because of these reactions, breathing patterns also change, which can lead to decreased air ventilation and reduced lung capacity.
Prolonged stress also leads to increased muscle tension, nervous tics, altered posture, hormonal disorders, sleep problems, migraines, or internal organ dysfunction. The art of proper breathing can reduce these ailments, reduce perceived stress, calm and soothe the body, and improve well-being.
Breathing exercises will not solve nerve problems and are not a cure, but they can reduce symptoms and be part of a medical therapy that you can do yourself at home.
Techniques of proper breathing come from different philosophies, sports or ways of relaxation, so you should try some of the most popular exercises and choose the perfect form for you. In addition to professional classes with experts in this field and a visit to a psychotherapist, who will tell you which exercises will be most effective, you can use materials placed on the Internet. Most of them are prepared by specialists who deal with yoga, meditation or relaxation techniques in professional life.
Box breathing is a technique used by soldiers, police officers and people who work in stressful conditions. It allows you to balance your breathing, achieve an individual rhythm of inhales and exhales, and reduce feelings of tension.
The exercise should be performed in a sitting position, with the back straight, so as to reduce tension in the upper part of the body. Inhale deeply for a few seconds and then hold for about 4 seconds. The air should be let out slowly over the next few seconds. It is important not to tighten your lips while holding your breath. The series should continue for a few minutes each day until the tension feels relieved.
The body position should be the same as the previous exercise. The task is to inhale air through the mouth and release it from the throat while simultaneously making a “ha” sound from within. After mastering the basic technique, one may try to transfer breathing to the nose and combine nasal exhalation with making the appropriate sound.
This exercise helps not only to reduce the perceived stress, but also to relax the muscles of the neck, back and chest tension. Bhramari is done in a cross-legged position with eyes closed and ears plugged. The air is taken in through the nose and then released with a quiet purring sound. The sounds should be even, rhythmic, gentle and monotonous, allowing you to feel a pleasant vibration in your throat.
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