Being able to calm yourself with breathing techniques can help ease your mind and emotions. You have the internal capacity to breathe through the feelings of stress.
There are many times in life when things feel out of control but figuring out a way to internally cope can be well within your abilities and can be an immediate way to relax and reduce the stress. Emotions are valid responses to situations and controlling your breathing can help you cope. The best thing about it is that these are simple practices that do not cost you anything or require special training.
Instead of dreading certain situations, use these and other practices to work through them:
1. Count backward from 10. Remember as a kid when your Mom told you to slow down and count to ten when you were upset? Use slow, calm, and deep breaths as you’re counting backward. You’ll feel the stress subside, which will help you to clear your mind. You can do this out loud, or in your head if you’re in a crowded area with a lot of people. .
2. Take slow, slightly deeper breaths. No counting, just breathing. Use slightly deeper than normal breaths, without push or strain, over and over again. Slowly. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, out. In, out. Feel the calmness take over. This is a technique that many people do when they’re feeling stressed at home, work, or while driving. It’s quite effective and simple.
3. Engage in a walking meditation.This can be a great way to get control over your mind and your thoughts. Coordinate each step with consistent and steady breaths. If you’re at a place where you feel like you can’t walk, find a space where you you have 15 to 20 feet to move back and forth.
You can always start with one type of method and then switch to a different one as well. You can find more breathing practices here.
We all deal with stress on a daily basis, so being able to have your very own coping mechanisms gives you a handy way to alleviate those stressful thoughts and feelings. Just because you’re feeling stressed in that moment doesn’t mean that you have to carry it around the entire day. Use the breath as a tool to help you get through the stressful moment, so you can move forward positively through the rest of your day.