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Using breathing to help reduce stress

In our 10 easy ways to relax article we recommended using breathing to help reduce stress levels. The secret is to try to do these breathing exercises daily. This way you will get the most benefit.

Make it part of your daily routine as much as making breakfast and brushing your teeth. If you do you will find using breathing to help reduce stress is a powerful ally to relaxing.

It can be done standing up, lying down or sitting on a chair. The important thing is to be comfortable. This includes clothing. Tight clothes need to be loosened.

The key is to breath deeply from your stomach. Get as much air into your lungs as possible. Deep breaths mean more oxygen. This mean less tension and anxiety.

Five steps to using breathing to help reduce stress

  • Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Breath gently, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Your hand on your stomach should rise as you exhale
  • Try counting from one to five as you breath. If you can’t reach five at first don’t worry, practice makes perfect.
  • You should breath without pausing. Steadily breath in and then out.
  • Do this for up to five minutes each day.

If you find it difficult breathing from your stomach while sitting move to lying on the floor. You could put a small book on your stomach. Watch it fall steadily and then rise as you exhale.

You can practice breathing techniques like this almost anywhere. All you need is a few minutes and a place to stretch out.

To find out more about relaxation techniques and beating stress head over to the NHS Moodzone here.

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