There are numerous ways to de-stress without having to shell out enormous amounts of money, but sometimes it can be difficult to enter that relaxed, stress-free zone. What we don’t often realize though is that de-stressing can be as simple as finding a quiet and comfortable place, and filling your lungs with air, for just a few minutes each day!
In fact, millions of people from around the world believe that breathing exercises can not only lower stress, but also reduce blood pressure, and bring calmness to ones mind.
With that said, below are 4 simple meditation techniques or “breathing exercises”, with easy to follow instructions, that you can do practically anywhere, anytime. Enjoy!
1. Alternate Nostril Breathing
How to do it: Start by positioning yourself in a meditative, but comfortable pose. Place your right thumb on your right nostril (with the idea of blocking the entry and exit of air on the said nostril) and take deep breaths through the left nostril. Upon reaching the peak of your inhalation, block your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale from your right nostril.
Continue the process by alternating as to which nostril you inhale and exhale from.
The best time to do it: This exercise usually works best when you want to re-energize yourself or want to regain focus.
Since this exercise will force your mind to work effectively, stay away from doing this before going to bed as it will keep you awake.
2. Abdominal Breathing Technique
How to do it: Place one of your hands on your chest and the other one on your belly and take 6 to 10 breaths per minute. Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose and inflate your diaphragm with air, just enough to create a stretching of the lungs.
The best time to do it: This breathing exercise works best before engaging in something that can be very stressful like exams, corporate meetings etc.
Doing this exercise, along with other meditation techniques, daily will also help reduce blood pressure levels.
3. Equal Breathing
How to do it: Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling through your nose, each at a count of 4 seconds. Do this for a total of around 10 minutes and it will reward you with a calmer state of mind.
The best time to do it: Though this exercise is most effective in helping the mind prepare for sleep, you can practically do it anywhere, anytime you need to reach a state of relaxation.
If you want to take it to the next level, increase your inhale and exhale time to 8 seconds for each action.
4. Progressive Relaxation
How to do it: With maintained slow, deep breathing, close your eyes and concentrate on relaxing and tensing your body’s different muscle groups for an interval of 3 seconds. Start from your toes, going up your thighs, to your chest and eventually to your eyes. Note, the eyes, jaws and the face are considered as the main body parts where stress is stored.
The best time to do it: This exercise is effective if you want to regain focus and can be done anywhere.
And that’s it! 4 simple meditation techniques in the form of breathing exercise that can either help you regain focus or relax your mind. If you have tried any of the exercises posted on here and want to share your experience, please do so by leaving a comment below and also feel free to add any additional tips you wish to share with our community too!