Breathing exercises to calm the mind

India

09 Sep 2018

#HealthBytes: 5 breathing techniques to help reduce stress

It's no rocket science to figure out that modern lifestyles, diet habits, and work patterns don't go hand in hand with your health- more so, not with your mental peace.

Stress and anxiety have become a part of our daily lives.

However, certain simple and easy-to-perform breathing exercises can help you de-stress and relax.

Here are 5 breathing techniques to help reduce stress.

Sama Vritti

A simple breathing technique for better focus, and quality sleep

A simple breathing technique for better focus, and quality sleep

The Sama Vritti or equal breathing technique can help relax the mind, improve focus, and gift you better quality sleep.

Start by slowly inhaling upto a count of four, then exhale on a count of four (using your nose throughout the process).

When this feels easy peasy to do, try to extend the breath duration to upto 6 to 8 counts.

Abdominal Breathing

Practise this exercise for controlled BP, heart rate

To perform this technique, put one hand on your chest, and the other over the belly, then take a deep breath through your nose, ensuring that the diaphragm inflates with enough air to create a stretch in your lungs. Then exhale.

Take 6-10 breaths per minute, for 10 minutes, on a daily-basis to get controlled heart rate, blood pressure, and ultimately, stress reduction.

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Kapalbhati

Kapalbhati pranayam will brighten up your mornings

Kapalbhati pranayam will brighten up your mornings

Brighten up your day by performing the Kapalbhati pranayam (or skull shining breath), as it'll help warm up your body, brush off stale energy, and refresh and relax your mind.

To perform it, slowly, take a long breath through your nose, and then exhale forcefully from the lower belly.

Repeat this for 10-20 times.

Practise the exercise daily to feel inner calm and peace.

Nadi Shodhana

Nadi Shodhana will give calm and balance to your brain

The Nadi Shodhana can also calm you down.

To perform, start by sitting in a comfortable meditative pose. Put your right thumb over the right nostril, and inhale deeply through the left one. At the peak of inhalation, close the left nostril using your ring finger, and exhale through the right nostril.

Repeat the exercise, rotating the nostrils.

Continue for 5-10 minutes.

Progressive relaxation

Perform progressive relaxation for reducing stress, anxiety and better sleep

Perform progressive relaxation for reducing stress, anxiety and better sleep

To relax the whole body and mind, perform the progressive relaxation exercise.

Start by closing your eyes, then focus on tensing and easing each of your muscle groups for a couple for seconds, one by one- right from your toes and feet, moving up to thighs, chest, neck, and the eyes.

The exercise will help you reduce stress, anxiety, and score better quality sleep.

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